Three Rio Grande Valley Vipers were selected to participate in today’s NBA Development League All-Star Game, but only one will participate.
Center Tim Ohlbrecht will be the Vipers’ lone representative for the game, scheduled for 2 p.m. at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. The game will be televised by NBA TV. Ohlbrecht is averaging 13.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in 30 games (27 starts).
Forward Terrence Jones and guard Andrew Goudelock also were selected. Jones, who has been on assignment from the Houston Rockets several times this season, isn’t eligible because he was recalled Thursday and is not on the Vipers’ roster. Goudelock is not playing because the team said he is suffering from a migraine.
TONING UP: Despite not playing basketball for 2 1/2 months, Rockets forward Royce White said he was two pounds above his preferred playing weight of 270 when he took his physical last week.
In addition to honing his basketball skills while on assignment to the Vipers, White said he wants to use the time in the Valley to shape up.
“I just want to tone out and get back to getting my arms really, really ripped up,” White said. “As far as the weight, I just want to mold the weight that’s there.”
White has averaged 6.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 19.0 minutes in two games for the Vipers. White said, for now, he isn’t worried about racking up big stats while on assignment. It’s more about knocking off the rust.
“I just to be more active,” White said. “It’s like a mindset. I can always go. I’m athletic, strong enough to go and push myself through fatigue. It’s about having a mindset of going to the offensive glass and doing stuff like that.”
That suits the Vipers’ wide-open system in transition perfectly.
“We want to keep the ball in his hands and the best way to do that is to rebound it and bring it,” Vipers coach Nick Nurse said. “That will be the best way to showcase his talents.”
WAKEUP CALL: Forward Greg Smith said he was surprised when the Rockets assigned him to the Vipers earlier this week. Smith, who played in the Valley for most of last season, seemed to have left the Vipers in the rearview mirror. But after a recent slump with the big club, the Rockets sent him back to the Valley to get his mojo back.
Unlike some who get assigned to the NBADL, Smith took it in stride.
“Basketball is basketball — whether I’m playing a the D-League, the gym or in a real game in the NBA,” Smith said after Wednesday’s game. “I’m going to approach it like any other game, I’m going to play hard. It was good to come down here and get work in. I just wanted to work on my game.”
Smith played three games for the Vipers, averaging 12.3 points and 9.3 rebounds. The Rockets recalled him Thursday.
David Hinojosa covers the Rio Grande Valley Vipers for The Monitor. You can reach him at (956) 683-4442 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flash earn rough win over Mustangs
HIDALGO — In game that featured more than 30 fouls, the Rio Grande Valley Flash defeated the Chicago Mustangs 8-5 on Friday night at State Farm Arena.
The Flash's Erick Flores scored four goals, taking him to 21 on the season. Flores scored the opening goal for the Flash.
Armando Teran scored the next goal to make it 2-0. The Mustangs replied with a power-play goal by Miguel Vaca.
The Flash (11-4) scored a pair of goals during the second quarter, including a power-play goal by Flores, his second of the game.
The Mustangs (11-5) scored a second power-play goal by Omar Santillan to leave the deficit 4-2 at halftime. Chicago scored two goals after intermission to tie the game at 4.
The teams traded goals and went into the fourth quarter tied at 5, but the Flash scored three times, including twice on goals by Flores. The second was a power-play goal. Edgar Martinez added the final goal.
The Flash took over second place in the Central Division of the PASL. Their next game against the Texas Strikers at 7:05 p.m. at Ford Arena in Beaumont.
-- Flash Services
Coleman, Fujiwara lift Roadrunners into first
Vince Coleman Jr. and Ginjiro Fujiwara collected four hits to lead a 20-hit attack for the Edinburg Roadrunners as they moved into first place in the Texas Winter League with a 16-2 victory over the McAllen Thunder.
The Roadrunners (5-4) scored in every inning but the sixth, by which time they led 16-1 and were conservatively running the bases.
The tone was set for the game when Fujiwara, an 18-year-old from Japan’s Komozawa University Iwamizama High, hit a fly ball to left field that was misplayed into a double. After starting pitcher Takati Sato walked Thomas Schull, Mike Mobbs -- who himself had three hits in the game -- tripled in both baserunners.
Up 8-1 in the fourth, the Roadrunners sent 12 batters to the plate against Leo Madrid during a seven-run frame highlighted by Schull’s bases-loaded triple.
Meanwhile, Aryo Fleming, who one-hit the Thunder (4-4-1) during a 5 1/3-inning stint Sunday, again was effective by allowing only one run during a four-inning stint. Tyler Hanks (1-0) earned the victory by throwing two scoreless innings in relief.
Schull, Kori Melo, Eric Sheridan, and Donald Whitt all collected two hits for the Roadrunners.
In the second game, the Brownsville Stars tied the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings at 1. Cole Stephens threw a no-hitter for 5 2/3 innings against his former manager’s team but was victimized by his defense.
Stephens, who pitched for the United League's WhiteWings last year, retired consecutive batters from the second through the sixth inning before Justin Juneau booted a ground ball hit by Kori Melo with two outs and the Stars (4-4-1) up 1-0.
Jacob Douglas then doubled to center field to score Melo, but this was in large part because Austin Fraker tried to make a diving catch of the sinking hit. The ball bounced past Fraker, allowing Melo to score and Douglas to pull into second.
Brownsville took a 1-0 lead off Harlingen South grad Danny Gidora when Fraker dragged a bunt for a hit with two outs in the second inning, stole second base and scored on catcher Nick Lancisi’s single to left.
It was Lancisi’s first Texas Winter League game. Lancisi, a product of Husson University, finished with three hits in as many at-bats.
“The catcher was good. We were on the same page and mixing it up. He’s a solid catcher,” said Stephens, who fanned three and walked no one in six innings.
“I’m in midseason form. I didn’t feel my arm was tight or dragging or anything,” the right-hander said.
This outing comes off a performance in which Stephens threw five shutout innings against the WhiteWings (3-4-2) on Sunday.
Gidora, meanwhile, threw four innings and allowed five hits, struck out two and did not walk a batter.
The WhiteWings will play the Roadrunners at 11 a.m. Saturday, and the Thunder will play host to the Stars with Misop Baynun pitching against the Stars' Keisuke Saito.
The day will be Veterans and VA Staff Appriciation Day, will all veterans, active military and Veterans Affairs staff and families getting into the ballpark for $3, and prizes will be given away.
-- WhiteWings Services
Broncs open season with win
CORPUS CHRISTI – The first five University of Texas-Pan American baseball players to bat reached base and three scored as the Broncs opened the 2013 season with a 7-1 victory over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders on Friday at Chapman Field.
Alex Howe started the game with a single through the left side and Dillon Englehart drew a walk. Derek Hagy, Aaron Moore and Will Klausing followed with consecutive RBI singles to make it 3-0 Broncs (1-0).
The Broncs added some insurance runs in the seventh, when with two on and one out, Alberto Morales brought in a run with a single. One out later, Riley Goulding doubled home Morales to make it 5-1.
Morales added a run-scoring double and Goulding brought in a run with a single in the ninth.
Goulding finished 3 for 5 with a double and two RBIs, and Engelhart, Hagy, Moore and Morales all had two hits. Hagy and Morales recorded doubles.
Sam Street (1-0) made the lead hold up, pitching eight strong innings in his Broncs debut, allowing one run on six hits and one walk, striking out four.
The run was scored in the fifth inning as, with runners on the corners and one out, Cody Stephens singled to bring the Islanders (0-1) within 3-1, but Street got Jonathan Gonzales to ground into a double play to escape the threat.
Stephens and Dominic Lopez, who scored the run, each picked up two hits.
Islanders starter Tyler Schnuriger (0-1) lasted four innings, allowing three runs on six hits and one walk with four strikeouts.
The Broncs and Islanders continue the four-game series with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday.
-- UTPA Services