East County Sports

Kings, Guardians in crosstown showdown



By Damon Sloan

Special to East CountySports.com


EL CAJON – All eyes will be on El Cajon High School on Saturday night when the San Diego Kings take on their crosstown rival, the San Diego Guardians, for ‘619’ supremacy.

The Kings are riding high going into the matchup Saturday, coming off of a 147-113 dismantling of the Fresno Flaming Sun Rays on the road.

Kings’ head coach Davion Famber explained the importance of keeping their momentum going into Saturday’s tilt.

“This is the type of game that our team needs right now, it’s going to be a war-like ‘Thrilla in Manilla,” Famber said. “They can’t afford to lose this one because it will be three straight and potentially four when we play them again on the 30th, all the pressure is on them.  We are coming off a great team win against the Sun Rays on the road and now we can come home to an intense El Cajon crowd.”

Famber knew the team was capable of getting on a winning streak after their tough home opener loss against the Orange County Novastars back on the 9th of November.

“I told you we would get it rolling,” Famber stated. “That Novastars loss was the best thing for us, it helped us learn, get better and now we are playing great basketball.

“We just added Mark Ware and Adam Lacey back into the lineup, two guys that will even add more depth to our frontcourt, I don’t think any of the teams in the ABA can match up to the size that we have on this team. We want to continue to impose our will inside and continue to play great defense for 48 minutes. That will get us the win Saturday.”

San Diego Guardians head coach Brandon Cheeks understands the hype surrounding this game and he is embracing it.

“This game means a lot to the players and coaches involved because we all know each other very well,” Smith said. “The basketball community in San Diego is tight-knit.

“As for the professional basketball scene in San Diego, this game is it. This is the game to be at. Games like this bring great energy and excitement for the community and fans of the game at all levels. “In order for us to win this game on the road, we have to match their intensity or supersede it.”

Both of these coaches are very familiar with each other being teammates on the basketball team for San Diego City College. They both acknowledged their relationships but recognize the importance of winning this game to establish superiority in the rivalry

“Coach Cheeks is a personal friend of mine,” Famber explained. “We went to San Diego City College and changed that program into a winning culture together, he’s a great coach and a great friend and it’s exciting to see who has the better team right now.”

“It will be an honor to coach against Davion,” coach Cheeks chuckled. “I’m looking forward to stealing some of his coaching and motivating tactics, we know both teams will battle to the end, but when the dust settles we will shake hands and hug respectfully at the end of the game.

The last time the Kings and Guardians faced off, the Kings walked away with a 113-110 win over the Guardians last season and hope for the same result this season.

The Kings will look to improve their record to 5-1 and move up further in the ABA rankings.

The San Diego Guardians are going into Saturday’s game at 2-2 and want to avoid dropping below .500 with a loss.

This will be a home-and-home series for the two ball clubs because, after this game, they rematch again Nov. 30 from San Diego High School, home of the Guardians. They will play one more time Jan. 6 when the Guardians visit the Kings again.

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