Cruz lifts Jonah past Ezra

Jonah’s Jethro Cruz pulls up for a jumper in an earlier game against Joel in the youth division of the Genesis Cup at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. He scored 33 points in their 69-59 victory against Ezra last Thursday. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Jethro Cruz picked up where he left off, powering Jonah to a 69-59 victory over Ezra in the lone game played in the youth division competition in the 5th Genesis Cup Christian Churches Inter-Color Basketball League last Thursday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

Cruz, who scored 28 points in their 72-75 overtime loss to Joel last Tuesday, knocked in 33 markers in Jonah’s double-digit win over Ezra. Jonah got its second triumph in as many games against Ezra and improved to a 4-2 record, the same mark the latter holds, putting the two squads in a tie for second place in the team standings behind idle Joel (4-1).

The lefty shooter drilled Jonah’s first 9 points in the second half to give his team more breathing room after the first 20 minutes of play ended at 32-31, in favor of the winning squad.

A two-pointer from Karl Marcellana ended Cruz’s string of points, but the latter went on to hit 6 straight markers anew. Then after Joshua Cabrera and Sam Darag converted one basket each, the Saipan Southern High School standout went on another streak (6 consecutive points) to keep Jonah’s safe distance against Ezra, which tried to stay in the game behind the successive baskets of Jerald Santiago and Nathan Borromeo.

Santiago went on to top-score for Ezra with his 24 points, while Borromeo chipped in 18. Darag and Cabrera backed up Cruz, adding 14 and 10 markers, respectively.

Meanwhile, Nahum (2-4) got a free win in the second game last Tuesday after Haggai (0-5) failed to field enough players for the match.

Six more games are left in the double-round robin regular season of the youth division and two of them will be played tomorrow. In the curtain-raiser, Jonah will take on Haggai at 6:30pm, while the Ezara versus Joel tiff will follow out. On Thursday, it will be Joel vs Hagai and Nahum versus Jonah. Next Tuesday, the last set of matches will have Joel facing Nahum in the first game and Hagai challenging Ezra in the second.

Jonah 69 — Cruz 33, Darag 14, Cabrera 10, Ponce 6, Marcellana 4, Bordon 2.

Ezra 59 — Santiago 24, Borromeo 18, De Leon 8, Buno 6, Sumpay 2.

Scoring by halves: 32-31, 69-59.

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Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for 16 years. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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