INDIANAPOLIS (May 5, 2023) – Playing the last game of a long first night of the NBA 2K League 3v3 STEAL Tournament in Washington, D.C., the resilient Pacers Gaming squad came back from a one game deficit to win three straight games and defeat the No. 1 team in Europe (with one of the world’s best point guards), Team Europe, 3-1 late Friday evening in a best-of-five series and advance to Saturday evening’s clash with defending STEAL Tournament champion, Magic Gaming at 6:45 PM. A win against Orlando would put Indiana in the semifinals later that night. Earlier Friday evening Team Europe defeated APAC (the best 2K team in the Asia Pacific/Australia region) for the right to face the No. 1 seed Pacers. The two STEAL Tournament finalists Saturday night will be the last two entrants in the league’s 3v3 championships, to be held next week in D.C. Each game winner is determined by the first team to reach 21 points but must win by two.
JIINXYC, considered the best 2K point guard in Europe and expected to be a top choice in the next NBA 2K League draft, scored ALL of his team’s 24 points in a 24-22 Game 1 victory for Team Europe. He was 10-of-13 from the field, including four-of-six from the three-point arc. The Pacers led at various times in the contest – 10-5, 18-14 and 20-18 until JIINXYC hit back-to-back 3s at the end for the win. JAYSNAGS (Julio Laboy) led Indiana with 12 points on six-of-six shooting. CHESS (Kory Taylor) added six points and three assists while BIG REIGN (Blaine Wilson) grabbed three rebounds, dished an assist and scored five points for the Pacers.
In Game 2 the encounter was close all the way until Team Europe took a late 22-21 lead. Playing in front of loud, pro-European crowd, JAYSNAGS nailed a game-winning three pointer to silence all for a thrilling 24-22 Indiana victory. CHESS led the Pacers with 12 points and three assists while JAYSNAGS ended the game with eight points and BIG REIGN netted four points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal. JIINXYC continued his fine play for Team Europe, scoring ALL of his team’s 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting. Indiana won its second straight game and took a 2-1 lead in the series in Game 3, winning 21-14 as JAYSNAGS led the way with 11 points on five-of-five shooting. BIG REIGN chipped in with eight points, including three-of-three from the field (two-of-two from the arc), It was BIG REIGN’s three pointer that gave the Pacers the win. JIINXYC was held to 12 points in the loss.
Pacers Gaming left no doubt in Game 4, sending the Euros packing with a 22-11 decision as CHESS scored 11 points; JAYSNAGS netted eight points and BIG REIGN had three rebounds, two assists, a steal and three points. CHESS hit a three pointer for the game winner. The Pacers, who revamped their defense over the last few games, forced JIINXYC into three-of-nine shooting (zero-for-three from the arc) and only six points.
The Pacers committed two turnovers in the Game 1 loss; Indiana did not commit a single turnover in its three wins!
“I was really proud of our guys tonight,” said Pacers Gaming head coach Cody Parrent. “Europe is a super talented team with one of the best players in the world. Our guys took that first punch in Game 1 and battled. Discipline, sticking to what we do, being smart. All the hallmarks of Indiana basketball came through in games two, three and four.”