Ol’Aces Elite, Ol’Aces triumph

The Ol’Aces Elite notched twin wins this week, while its sister team the Ol’Aces also prevailed in the boys U18 division of the 2017 Francisco M. Diaz Memorial Youth League.

The Ol’Aces Elite first topped Mt. Carmel School, 52-43, last Tuesday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium and then outclassed the Sonics XVIII in last Wednesday’s curtain-raiser, 42-34, while the Ol’Aces romped past the Natibu Warriors in the second match, 60-33.

An Ol’Aces Elite player, center, fumbles as he faces two Mt. Carmel School defenders during the first half of their boys U18 division game in the Diaz youth caging last Tuesday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

An Ol’Aces Elite player, center, fumbles as he faces two Mt. Carmel School defenders during the first half of their boys U18 division game in the Diaz youth caging last Tuesday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The Ol’Aces set up the easy win after pulling away in the second half and drawing contributions from multiple players. The second half start with the Ol’Aces ahead by 10, 20-10, but it padded its lead with N-Nes Siech anchoring the breakaway. Siech dropped 9 of his 11 points in the final half, while Jeff Castro also stepped up in that canto after scoring 7 markers.

Five other Ol’Aces players chipped in at least 5 points apiece in the team’s easy victory. Henry Aguon paced the Natibu Warriors with his 8 points, but these were way behind the 26 markers he drilled in their 104-33 rout of Agape Christian School last Monday.

In the first game last Wednesday, the Ol’Aces Elite also spread the wealth to beat the Sonics XVIII.

No Ol’Aces Elite player broke into double figures, but four combined for more than half of the team’s total output with E.J. Abejo and Renato Gaviola tallying 9 points each and Rikko Saralu and Traven Quitugua adding 7 apiece. Two more Ol’Aces Elite players made it to the squad’s box scores.

In contrast, only four hit the board for the Sonics XVIII and Roberto Paragados carried most of the load for the losing team after firing 18 points.

The Ol’ Aces Elite led from start to finish against Sonics XVIII.

Versus Mt. Carmel, the Ol’Aces Elite recovered from an 8-point deficit midway in the first half to steal the victory from the Knights.

Capitalizing on the Ol’Aces Elite’s failure to quickly get back on defense, Mt. Carmel managed to take a 22-14 advantage at the halfway mark of the first half after getting away with a couple of fastbreak layups.

The Ol’Aces Elite sued for time and when the game resumed, it regrouped and forced the Knights to commit errors and turned them into baskets. The Ol’Aces Elite’s recovery moved the team within 3 at halftime, 22-25.

The Knights eventually lost the lead in the second half, no thanks to Xavier Okaruru’s 4 straight baskets and his teammates’ support. Mt. Carmel could not keep the driver’s seat as it was held to five field goals in the second half, while the Ol’Aces Elite hit more targets.

TUESDAY
Ol’Aces Elite 52 — Okaruru 12, Elchico 10, Abejo 9, Saralu 8, Quitugua 4, Ichihara 4, Agustin 2, Reyes 2.

MCS 43 — Yu 13, Yun 13, Quitugua 9, Richardson 8.

Scoring by quarters: 26-22, 52-43.

WEDNESDAY
First Game
Ol’Aces Elite 42 — Abejo 9, Gaviola 9, Saralu 7, Quitugua 7, Elchico 6, Peters 2.

Sonics XVIII 34 — Paragados 18, Malasarte 6, Bernardo 6, Diyco 2.

Scoring by halves: 23-15, 42-34.

Second Game
Ol’Aces 60 — Siech 11, Blake 9, Castillo 7, Castro 7, Sablan 6, Atan 5, Onopwy 5, Kabiriel 4, Ngirarois 2, Santos 2.

Natibu Warriors 33 — H. Aguon 8, Kainoa 7, R. Sulap 6, Lifoifoi 6, Garde 4, J. Aguon 2.

Scoring by halves: 20-10, 60-33.

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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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