The Eastern Basketball League, the preeminent circuit from 1912 until it folded in 1923, returned to its position at the forefront of the pro game. After an abortive comeback in 1925, the EBL had revived in 1928 as strictly a minor league operation. The ABL’s collapse at the end of the 1930-31 season gave the old league a new importance.
With major leaguers added to nearly every roster, the two-time defending champion Philadelphia Sphas faced their stiffest challenge in their third EBL season. The new Philadelphia Moose club proved to be particularly tough for the Sphas in some brawling early season matchups. Veteran major leaguer Gaza Chizmadia, a 6’2″ center, controlled the backboards for the new team and, along with George Clift, provided the team with most of its scoring punch. The Moose tied the Sphas for first place and then took the first half honors in a single game playoff.
In the second half the Moose fell back, but Bridgeton, featuring the incomparable Benny Borgmann and a slew of ABL veterans, loomed just as ominously in the path of the Sphas’ playoff aspirations. Eddie Gottlieb’s club, led by Cy Kaselman, met the challenge by jumping off to an early insurmountable lead over Bridgeton. Kaselman won his second consecutive scoring title, averaging just under eleven points a game. Future Temple University coach Harry Latwick shared the backcourt with Kaselman, while Reds Sherr, Red Wolfe and Lou Forman handled the frontcourt chores. The Sphas maintained their momentum in the post-season playoffs against the Moose by taking three of four games to secure their third consecutive Eastern League title.