Best contender on the brink?

Posted July 4, 2011

Best contender on the brink?

The 2006 and 2008 champions are on the brink of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

The Bardo Athletics have incurred some heart-breaking losses this season, none more demoralizing than last week’s 5-3 decision to the defending champion Leduc Milleteers.

This week’s contests against Camrose and Ryley could either spell the end of the Athletics run of post-season magic, or breathe new life into a re-tooling franchise.

As with many Ray Lehman teams in the past 15 years, once the team is in the playoffs, it’s a whole new ball game. Some of us can still remember improbable PBL championships won by the seemingly dispondant Ryley Rebels of the late 90s and early 2000s, sneaking into the playoffs by the hair on their… you know whats – only to win the whole thing.

Even when Bardo hasn’t won the championship in recent years, they’ve been the only ones who can defeat and push a seemingly unstoppable Leduc Milleteers squad when the cards are on the table.

Since joining the league in 2008, Leduc and Bardo have squared off in three epic series – one in a championship and two in semi-finals with Leduc winning the two most recent. But every single one of them has gone three games. The all-time playoff record going to Leduc at 5-3-1.

  • Semi-final 2008: Bardo wins 2-1
  • Final 2009: Leduc wins 2-1

Semi-final 2010: Leduc wins 2-0-1

Ryley has also had two series with the Milleteers, but despite some scrappyness at times, they’ve been unable to push Leduc come playoff time with 2009 semi-final and 2010 final sweeps.

So if this week doesn’t pull a 180, and the Roadrunners/Milleteers virtually end the Athletics hopes at the post-season on Tuesday night, it will also end an era of Bardo playoff baseball. A run that includes two championships and snuffing out a 29-year curse.

But what it also may end is any chance of that the Leduc Milleteers will NOT win a third title in as many years. It seems the team best equipped to stop it, might not get a chance this year. And that’s too bad.

So either start a typical run of four wins Bardo, or someone else step up and prove me wrong. Because Leduc hasn’t lost since opening day. And they need to be beaten. They need to be challenged. Who’s going to answer the bell? 

Bueller? Anyone? 

I guess we’ll see in a couple weeks who gets first crack.

Posted on July 4, 2011 by Jason Buzzell

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