"Yo, Lance Peyn." Lance took the initiative to speak with Fin.
"My name's Fin, Fin Stee."
They shook their hands and Fin smiled before saying his thanks, "I haven't thanked you yet, man. Really thankful of you, ya saved me, man."
Fin continued to stretch his legs and looked at Lance who is just standing there not doing anything. He looked at Lance from top to bottom and saw that he is wearing a tee and jeans.
"Aren't ya gonna prepare man?"
Lance was somewhat stunned. He forgot about the routines.
"Ah, sorry. I'll start warming up."
Both of them stretched their bodies and hopped for a while before resting for a bit.
Lance looked down on his body and said, "I... I think this will do."
"Yeah... Wait, do you have a ball with you? I want to warm up my handles."
Lance gestured himself dribbling in front of Fin.
Fin shook his head in response all he had with him was his bag full of towels and a tee.
"Why don't you borrow a ball?"
Lance looked at the training ground and the friendly gaze of the people. He sighed and thought, "I don't they'll let us borrow."
Lance continued warming up without the ball and thought. "Against these big men, is my current skill level even enough? I hope I won't drag Fin down mid-game."
Lance contemplated and even slightly regretted his decision when he remembered that has only been a month since he started playing basketball again. Seriously, he knows that he is in no condition to play against high-level players yet.
Although Lance has been practicing his handles and shooting form after his father died, he believes that it is not enough. He has no stamina yet nor strength to fully display the skills he had in mind.
"This is going to be tough."
After a moment, Denis approached them asking if they are ready. Lance and Fin looked at each other before nodding.
"Is that so?" Denis looked at Lance's casual attire and almost laughed. Deep inside the captain of CSH team is mocking the both of them all the time.
"Alright, this is a 2v2. Same basketball rules except we will only use the half court and well you know the rest. We will use the same point system, 2 points inside the perimeter and 3 outside it... What else? Ah yeah, you two will have the first possession, I mean how can the two of reach higher against our tall players during the jump ball with that height of yours." Denis sneered.
"The game will continue until the first one to reach 11 points."
The two opposing pairs shook their heads in response.
Lance walked towards Fin and said, "Pass it to me then I'll help you score inside."
Fin was startled by his voice and just nodded in response. He did not think anymore and just took the ball and threw it in towards Lance.
Lance took the ball and dribbled it slowly. It looked sloppy from the outsiders' point of view but Lance is still trying to get his ball-sense back. After 3 bounce the ball started to move smoother as he dribbled. Satisfied with his touch, Lance nodded and looked at the two big men who are just standing there near the rim.
They don't even bother to stretch their arms to guard Lance.
"Confident that you'll win?" Lance thought.
Suddenly, Lance saw Fin run inside and quickly passed it with a bounce. Fin heard the ball and caught it before jumping for a lay. The spectators were amazed by the sudden attack to the rim. Only now did Becreux notice that Fin slipped inside.
Denis' just looked and smirked, "That won't work."
Fin stretched his arms mid-air with the ball on the tip his hand. The ball left his hand and made floated up towards the basket's direction.
"The reason why I told Becreux to play is for this."
Suddenly everyone heard the floor shake and found Becreux already mid-air with his palm in front of the ball mid-air. Becreux snickered and smashed it out of the court full force.
The ball was slammed towards the wall and cried out a loud bang after the collision.
Lance and Fin were stunned by the display of dominance. To easily block such a quick attack by Fin, it shows how strong Becreux is.
Denis proudly chuckled, "You wanna play huh, he will show you how to play."
"Strong!" Fin's thoughts slipped out of his mind. He looked at the ball that ricochetted out and then glanced back at Becreux who is looking down on him.
'I remember now, no wonder I felt his name quite familiar. The quick and strong big guy of the Citadel Snipers. The legendary center that has the height of 7-foot 2 and has the legs that gave him a vertical jump of over 42 inches! The best defender who averaged 11.8 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 3.2 blocks a game, Levi Becreux.' Lance looked at Becreux' wide back and found himself reminiscent of the future. "No wonder he is proud, he has everything to back it up."
Lance took the ball, the ball went out of bounds with Becreux who had the last touch. The possession is still theirs. When Lance grabbed the ball he saw his shaking hands. He was surprised and bewildered. Only now did he notice that his heart is racing.
"Am I nervous?" He thought. "Or is this excitement?"
When he turned around he saw Fin looking down.
"Is it still early?" Lance was somewhat disappointed. "Is he broken hearted already with just a single block?"
Fin stared at his palm and closed it before closing it again. He noticed Lance approach him but he continued to look at his hands.
"What? Are you done playing already?"
Fin looked at Lance and showed an irritated face. His eyes bore a burning far which is far from being extinguished, when Lance saw this he sighed in relief.
"Hyped are ya?" Lance spoke to Fin and slapped the latter's back.
"I know you can do it, let's do that play again!"
"Sure!" Fin exclaimed with excitement.
"Let's try to win!"
Becreux noticed them and just snickered in disdain. "A bunch of idiots who can't understand that they have no chance to win."
Fin started to run towards the right wing while Lance observed the still defense. He felt strange, somehow he does not get it. The defense does not even dare to defend anything outside 15 ft.
"Is it just me? or they are not trying to defend threes?" Lance thought as he started to bend his knees and dash sideways catching the defense's attention.
Suddenly Lance ran near the defense with at least a distance of a meter and jumped hinting a jump shot.
When Denis saw Lance pull up a jump shot he snickered and chuckled. He looked at the pair he chose and finally focused on the one in front of Lance.
'Is he afraid that Becreux will block him so he chose Dawson to defend him? He chose wrongly! Although Dawson may not be as skilled as Becreux in blocking he is still capable of forcing misses! In basketball, the defense is not only blocking, but mostly contesting shots!' Denis snickered as Dawsons hands stretched upward trying to contest an impending shot.
'And when the shot misses! The rebound will go to us!'
He looked at Lance and thought, 'Still, you are nothing but a 5-foot 7 guy trying to shoot over someone 4 inches taller than you!'
Lance suddenly smiled as soon as he saw the defense react. When Dawson's hand stretched to contest him he waited for the moment that Dawson's feet leave the ground.
He felt happy that everything is going according to his plan! No one noticed this but he smiled brighter as he reeled in the attention of the two defenders as if expecting the defenders to react.
And then he retracted the ball back to his chest and passed it full force to Fin who ran towards the paint while expecting an assist.
This move caught everyone in surprise. Denis even jolted up from his seat when he saw what happened.
Even Becreux can only contest Fin right now as he did not expect such a backdoor play! But even so, he managed to go near Fin who had just jumped for another attempt to make a layup.
Becruex tried his best to contest the shot but there is another surprise that unveiled itself.
Fin who was in mid-air suddenly clutched and dodged the contest.
When both of them landed on their feet everyone was shocked by Fin's display of skills and reaction time mid-air which granted him a bucket.
Even the ones responsible for taking the score was stunned. They did not expect that a no-name small guy would take the first blood!
"Hey! The score." The scorer responsible for CSH's score nudged his partner.
"AH! sorry!" The scorer changed the 0 into 2.
The score is 0 for CSH and 2 for Fin and Lance.
Denis gritted his teeth and clenched his fist. He underestimated the small guys.
'Don't let them score again!' He shouted in his thoughts.
Becreux and Dawson noticed Denis and nodded their heads. They have determined not to play around this time.
Fin smiled brightly as he struck a victory pose and looked at Lance saying, "Nice assist!"
Lance also gave a thumbs up and then seriously looked at Becreux, "We can't relax just yet though. We are currently playing against two players who are a head taller than us after all."
Fin and Lance positioned themselves and guarded their mark. They have to defend this time.
Becreux smirked and dribbled the ball he looked at Dawson who is waiting for him to move. He passed the ball and let Dawson score.
Lance quickly arrived in front of Dawson with his arms stretched out.
Dawson looked at Lance and thought, "Trying to defend against me?"
He gathered his legs and grabbed the ball. He decided to make shoot from 10 ft. But when he was just about to bring the ball up it was suddenly stolen by Lance who waited for a moment when he looked at the rim!
"Dawson!" Becreux couldn't help but call out when he noticed Lance suddenly move when Dawson look up but he was too late, the ball was stolen.
"Impossible!" Dawson was surprised and tried to grab the ball back but he lost his balance and fell!
Lance swiftly left the fallen Dawson and moved outside the perimeter. He watched the defenders' reaction and smiled.
He thought, "Thankfully, he takes too much time to make a shot!"
"Nice steal!" Fin exclaimed as he felt more excited when he saw Lance steal the ball.
Denis jolted from his seat and began to burst into anger. He pointed at Dawson and shouted out of anger, "What are doing you 'Curses' piece of 'Curses'!!!"
Lance just smiled as he heard Denis in the background burst in anger. Then he looked at Fin who is trying to find a way to get inside the paint while being marked by Becreux.
Lance pounded the ball hard inducing an attention-grabbing sound which caught Becreux and everyone's attention and then he quickly created space away from Dawson before passing the ball once again.
As if expecting the ball to come towards him, Fin quickly drove towards paint and caught the ball with his hand.
Becreux noticed him and quickly got into position just as the ball bounced off the ground, Fin suddenly jolted up and made a floater.
The defender could not react and it was too late when he jumped.
"A floater!? Did not expect that coming."
Fin kept his hands hanging in the air and enjoyed the shouts of the shocked spectators.
Denis punched the ground and turned red in anger. He could not believe the enemy just made two consecutive buckets! "Curses!"
Lance on the other hand just smiled while looking at the score. He didn't expect to score this easily. Unfortunately for the CSH's team, their own pride became their weakness.
"They underestimated us too much... no ... more specifically, Fin!" Lance thought while looking at Fin's back.
He remembered the basketball league he watched from the future, 'Fin Stee, the small forward who will lead his team into the championships. The phenomenal player who averaged 28 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists for 3 years straight! The MVP career stats that will make his team become the League champion!'
Then, his eyes subconsciously landed on the words written on Fin's jersey.
"First City High?" Lance smiled and made up his mind to try to enroll and study at FCH.
"Playing with someone of his caliber would surely be fun!"
Here's a slightly longer chapter. Hope you enjoy.
Please tell me what you think so that I would know what to improve.
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