Blacktop Battle presented by ZTE - Results
Recap and results from the best 3-on-3 basketball being played on the streets of H-Town
HOUSTON - From its inception, Blacktop Battle has been all about the participants. Ten years later that commitment has allowed it to grow into the biggest and best 3-on-3 hoops tournament in the state.
In what has become a tradition of sorts, over 250 teams of players aged 10 to 50 filled the two-block radius surrounding Toyota Center with 3-on-3 action. Sprawled across more than 20 courts, teams like “The Price is Dwight” and “The Little Rockets” scrapped and clawed for two days in order to be called champion. The competition is fierce, intense, and more than a little mad, especially given the elements which conspired to deliver the cold, rainy weather that this year’s participants were forced to endure.
But the end result makes it all worth it to Chrislord Templonuevo, the event’s chief coordinator and organizer. “[One of the my favorite things] about Blacktop Battle is seeing all of the faces on Championship Sunday. You go through the hardship of playing all the games, add in the fact that it’s rainy and cold, and it’s a battle. Then you get to see these guys put on the medals and the championship t-shirts after all their hard work. It’s the best part.”
It took some perseverance on Templonuevo’s and presenting sponsor ZTE’s part, providing both with an even more satisfying experience on the final day. It also helped to get an assist from the individuals that drive the true interest in the tournament – the Houston Rockets players themselves.
“Blacktop Battle has grown by leaps and bounds, number one, because of the community aspect,” Templonuevo said. “Not only are people getting behind our Rockets, but we’re getting a lot of involvement with the players as well. That, along with the help of ZTE, has really helped us grow this event.”
That support from players and fans alike pronounced itself in spectacular form at the now-famous dunk contest, which Templonuevo considers essential to the event’s identity. “Everything stops for the dunk contest. All of the participants, staff, vendors and partners get to focus in on something you don’t normally see in a basketball game.”
This year, that crowd included All-Star James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Patrick Beverley, Francisco Garcia, Greg Smith and Omri Casspi. Even four-time dunk champion “Sir Isaac” had to concede it was a special experience. “It’s crazy to do that in an actual dunk competition in front of NBA players,” he said after executing his winning, between-the-legs dunk over the six-foot trophy.
While Isaac’s remarkable dunk will be the aspect that garners the most attention from the outside world, it serves as a small metaphor for the greater success of the tournament. As a veteran participant, Isaac is among the most qualified to judge Blacktop Battle’s evolution. “It’s one of the biggest events in Houston for any basketball player, young or old. The crowd and the setup are amazing. It’s the best tournament I’ve been in over the past five or six years.”
For Templonuevo, ZTE and their staffs, successfully creating that atmosphere for the participants is the triumph of the weekend.
Blacktop Battle Winners
Knicks – 11U
Like Mike 12 – 12U
Money Tigers – 14U
DP Elite – 15U
Like Mike 15 – 15U
Fab 5 – 17U
Fab 4 - Adult Rec 6’4 & Under
Its Jake from State Farm - Adult Rec 6’2 & Under
Nordling - Adult Rec 6’ & Under
Nothing but Net - Adult Rec Open
Lets Get It – Adult Rec 6’ & Over
Loveitmane - Adult Comp 6’6 & Under
Puro Money - Adult Comp 6’2 & Under
Get Buckets - Adult Comp Open
UBAL All Stars – Adult Elite
Individual Competition Winners
Youth 3-Point Shootout - Dylan Lee
Adult 3-Point Shootout – Shaak Rose
Youth Skills Challenge – Keyshawn Robertson & Terrance Shepherd
Adult Skills Challenge – Marcus Wilson & Alfonso Humphries
Slam Dunk – Issac White