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Eric Devendorf: Champion


Are you f**king kidding me?  Did I call it or did I call it?  Here's what I said yesterday about the climactic Game Three of the New Zealand Basketball League Championship between the evil Waikito Pistons and Eric Devendorf's Wellington/Exodus Saints.

You can bet your ass that the Pistons will take an early, seemingly-insurmountable lead only to watch Devo and his Saints chip away until they've gotten within two points late.  With one last chance at greatness, Eric Devendorf will find the ball in his hands and he will launch a three-pointer as the clock expires.  It will go in.  Pandemonium will reign.  Redemption will be Eric Devendorfs.

Basically I was asking the Basketball Gods (the Kiwi ones, at that) to provide the most storybook-possible ending for Devo.  Guess what?  It actually happened that way.

Wellington Saints shut out an unlikely last-minute Waikato Pistons comeback to secure their first national basketball title since 2003 with an 82-79 win.

In front by only three, and with just 13 seconds remaining, the Saints premature celebrations ground to a halt.

Former Waikato guard Eric Devendorf came to the rescue, sinking two from the free-throw line for Wellington to steady the ship and secure Saints the win.

To be fair, I will admit I forgot one thing...The Willis Reed Moment.  And I'll be God damned if Devo didn't have one...

Devendorf, who top-scored yesterday, tweaked his ankle in the second quarter, but was back on court as the third quarter began and the Saints settled into the business of reeling in the Waikato lead.

Wow.  First off, in all seriousness, CONGRATS DEVO.  We might not have always seen eye to eye or tattoo to tattoo but I'm not gonna question how much of a competitor you are.  Job well done, sir.  And to do it against the team that gave up on you like so many other folks have...well that's gotta be pretty freakin' sweet.

Devo finished with 17 points, none more important than the clutch free throws to ice the victory.  Teammate Lindsay Tate was named Finals MVP.  It's Wellington's first championship since 2003 and they dethroned the two-time defending champs to do it.

Watch highlights of the game here, which include Devo yelling at people and celebrating like a madman, as we would expect.

What's next for Intercontinental Champion Eric Devendorf?  He's off to Australia to play for the Melbourne Tigers.  Interestingly enough, the Tigers will play the Pitt Panthers as the University team tours the world as part of an exhibition tour.  Devo's settling all family business right now...apologies in advance to everyone he plays Down Under.