Warriors add excitement to Summer League
The addition of players from the current University of Hawai’i team was expected to add excitement to the Hawai’i College Basketball Summer League, and it did just that.
Eight players from the 2013-14 roster participated in the two games of the Summer League on Tuesday night at the Manoa Valley District Park Gym.
Negus Webster-Chan – a touted transfer from Missouri – scored 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting, and added five rebounds and three assists to help lead Solar Universe to a 97-84 victory over Wealth Strategy Partners in the first game.
Webster-Chan, a 6-foot-7 guard, scored in a variety of ways – three 3-pointers, drives to the basket, and mid-range jumpers.
“It was a good experience to go against bigger guys, stronger guys, it was fun,” he said.
Webster-Chan was one of four Warriors on the Solar Universe team. Senior guard Brandon Spearman contributed 17 points; freshman guard Niko Filipovich scored two points and grabbed five rebounds; redshirt freshman Dyrbe Enos did not score, but saw action in the backcourt.
“It made me feel more comfortable,” Webster-Chan said of playing with other Warriors. “I was with Brandon and Zane (Johnson) and Dyrbe.”
Johnson, who last played at UH in 2012 and played professionally in Italy last season, led Solar Universe with 33 points.
The game was called with about one minute remaining in the second half after Wealth Strategy’s Julian Sensley and Spearman got into an altercation and needed to be physically separated by the other players. Both players will likely have to sit out one game, per league rules.
In the second game, Warrior freshmen Caleb Dressler and Aaron Valdes played key roles in leading Grantco Pacific to a 102-101 win over Clark Hatch Fitness.
Dressler, a 6-10 center, scored 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting, and grabbed four rebounds. Valdes finished with 10 points and six rebounds, and his tip-in putback of a missed free throw by teammate Geremy Robinson with 11 seconds remaining proved to be the difference at the end. Dressler and Valdes were both redshirts for UH last season.
Two Warriors played for Clark Hatch Fitness: Brandon Jawato hit three 3-pointers and finished with 15 points, and Keith Shamburger contributed 11 points and five rebounds.
A third Warrior, incoming freshman Michael Thomas, did not suit up for Clark Hatch Fitness because he is still awaiting clearance on his physical examination.
Jawato banked in a 3-pointer with 16 seconds remaining to cut Grantco Pacific’s lead to 99-98. Robinson was then fouled with 11 seconds left, and he made the first one and missed the second. Valdes jumped above the crowd near the rim for the tip-in that gave Grantco Pacific a 102-98 advantage. Scott Kato of Clark Hatch Fitness hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it a 102-101 final.
Brandon Matano – a former walk-on with both the UH basketball and football teams – made seven 3-pointers and finished with 30 points for Clark Hatch Fitness.
Two other UH recruits – point guard Quincy Smith and center Stefan Jovanovic – are expected to play on Saturday. Their teams did not play on Tuesday.
Two other UH returnees – forward Isaac Fotu from New Zealand and guard Michael Harper from Australia – are in the process of clearing visa issues and are hoping to be in Hawaii by the end of the week.
The Summer League will continue with two games on Saturday: National Fire Protection Co. vs. Grantco Pacific at 6 p.m., and Central Medical Clinic vs. Solar Universe at 7:30 p.m.
(Photos courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com)