JSBL Basketball – Team Playoff Preview: Assistive Choices Inc. (ACI)
Assistive Choices Inc. (1-6)
Playoff Position: No. 8, will play No. 5 Orthopaedic Institute in the first round on Thursday.
Kevin Mateo, 6-0, Brookdale
Andrew Wells, 6-0, Brookdale (Matawan)
Kareem Irby, 6-1, Brookdale
Tim Gjonballa, 6-8, Brookdale (Jackson Liberty)
Dan Golaszewski, 6-1, Brookdale
Darnell Askew, 6-7, Brookdale
Luis Robledo, 6-2, Brookdale
Jayden Cabrera, 6-3, Brookdale (Mater Dei Prep)
Ronn Flood, 6-3, Brookdale
Coby Sylvester, 5-9, Brookdale
Daryen Cabrera, 5-11, Brookdale (Mater Dei Prep)
Craig Wrenn, 6-3, Brookdale
Niles Haliburton, 6-4, Brookdale
Zahree Brown, 5-10, Brookdale
If you could not tell by the list of players above, Assistive Choices Inc., for all intents and purposes, is Brookdale’s entrant in the 2022 JSBL. The Jersey Blues are indeed the last seed and have won just one game, but they have been mostly competitive and their lone win is over the team they will be playing Thursday in the first round of the playoffs.
After a quiet opening night, Kevin Mateo caught fire for ACI, scoring at least 20 points in five straight games on the way to leading the team in scoring. The first two of those were in losing efforts by his team, but in the third game of the season, ACI lost to No. 1 seed WCT, 94-87, while loaning WCT one of its players for the game in order to have a full starting five. Daryen Cabrera – a former Mater Dei Prep guard – proved to be the difference against his actual team, scoring 22 points in the WCT win and dropping ACI to 0-3.
Brookdale’s bunch bounced back the following week by beating Orthopaedic Institute, which will be ACI’s first-round opponent Thursday night. Former Matawan star Andre Wells led the scoring effort with 26 points in that one, with Mateo (22), Jackson Liberty alum Tom Gjonballa (22) and Kareem Irby (20) each scoring 20 or more in the victory.
The season ended with three straight losses, but there was a silver lining to each of them. In a close loss to Sea View Jeep, ACI held league scoring champ Justin Robinson to a season-low 31 points, then held former Seton Hall and Monmouth guard Shavar Reynolds to 15 in a loss to Stern’s Trailer. The final game was a 21-point loss to previously-winless Sea Shore Auto, but it came without Mateo.
Due to that loss to Sea Shore, ACI is the eighth and final seed in the playoffs and will open its postseason slate Thursday against No. 5 Orthopaedic Institute.