Joel pulls off another OT win; Jonah routs Hagai

Jonah’s Sam Darag, right, challenges the shot of Nahum’s Haoyu Chen during their earlier game in the youth division of the Gen Cup. Darag scored 39 points in their 77-55 rout of Hagai last Tuesday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Andrew Palino saved Joel from collapsing as he hit the go-ahead basket in their 81-79 overtime win against Ezra in the second game in the youth division of the 5th Genesis Cup Christian Churches Inter-Color Basketball League last Tuesday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

Palino knocked in a banked shot in the closing seconds of the extension period to hand Joel its fifth win in sixth games and give his team the solo lead in the five-squad field. The OT victory was Joel’s second straight as it also needed extra five minutes to dispatch Jonah, 75-72, in their match last week.

The Kagman High School standout scored all of Joel’s 13 points in overtime, winning a shootout against Ezra’s Jerald Santiago in the extension. Santiago, who drilled the game-tying basket in regulation, 68-68, logged 9 of Ezra’s 11 markers in the extra frame.

Joel hand to rely on Palino in the homestretch after it squandered a double-digit spread in the first half. The division leader was ahead by 23 at the break, 44-21, as Palino’s teammates were on target in the opening 20 minutes of play. Genrei De Leon dropped all his 10 points in the first half, while four other Joel players contributed at least 6 points each, and Palino chipped in 8.

However, Joel failed to hang on to the lead, as it was caught off guard by Ezra’s fightback. Santiago led the recovery, firing 29 of Ezra’s 58 markers in the second half, including the basket that forced the regulation.

In overtime, Santiago continued to lead Ezra and threatened to bring the match into second overtime when he drained an inside basket, 12 seconds left on the clock.

Joel sued for time after the deadlock and when the game resumed, Palino took charge, driving strong to the basket and pulling up for a turnaround shot, just two seconds remaining in the game. Ezra ran out of time for the decent shot, allowing Joel to pull off the close win.

Palino finished the exciting match with 32 points, while Santiago exploded for 48 markers.

Meanwhile, in the first game, Jonah cruised past Hagai, 77-55.

Joel played without its main gunner—Jethro Cruz—but the team had no problem routing Hagai, as Sam Darag was there to provide the needed scoring. Darag registered a game-high 39 points to improve Jonah’s record to 5-2 for second place in the team standings. Hagai is still winless in six matches.

First Game
Jonah 77— Darag 39, Marcellana 12, Cabrera 12, Ponce 10, Gozon 4.
Hagai 55 — Alonzo 13, Brillo 12, Wang 10, Chen 7, Del Carmen 4, Irog 4.
Scoring by halves: 36-29, 77-55.

Second Game
Joel 81 — Palino 32, Cruz 16, De Leon 10, Ocaya 9, Elchico 8, Ocanada 6.
Ezra 79 — Santiago 48, Borromeo 9, Buno 8, Hu 8, Saumpay 2, De Leon 2.
Scoring by halves: 44-21, 68-68, 81-79 (OT)

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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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