Rollers 1 finished the 21st Annual Rotary Club of Saipan Youth Basketball League U16 division undefeated after holding off Matson Consulting Proa, 43-39, in the championship match last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
In addition, its counterparts Rollers 2 clipped Hi-5, 42-38, in the consolation pairing that preceded the main event.
Rollers 1 is comprised of Jeron Ano, Jed Cudia, Adrian De Luna, Emerson Feria Prince Factor, Brylan Floresca, John Paul Iglesias, Irvyn Malonzo, C.J. Morales, Keolani and Kyle Rios, and Ted Vivero.
The team is fronted by Rollers Basketball Club’s Joe Diaz.
Rotary Club of Saipan president Peter Schilling and Rotarians Kelly Butcher and Laurie Peterka were on hand to present the team with the championship trophy along with the other various award recipients.
More details about the award winners of both the U16 and U20 divisions are forthcomiong.
The U16 finals match started out with a 10-all deadlock as Rollers 1’s Factor and Morales each bagged a couple of baskets in the first quarter, while Eldiberto Javier III paced Proa with 6 markers on the other end.
Rollers’ J.P. Iglesias then sank a three-ball and a pair of free throws in the second quarter to help nose his team ahead, 19-16, at the half.
Factor returned after the break and added 4 more points in the second quarter and received a couple of buckets in support from fellow tree trunk Emerson Feria as the group broke in front, 32-26, in the third period,
Proa postured a comeback at crunch time off 7 points by Javier, but Rollers 1 held down the fort, thanks in part to an early 3-pointer by Irvyn Malonzo who struggled finding his range earlier in the game. Still the point man did a good job protecting the ball as Factor provided the final blows to secure the win.
Factor led Rollers 1 with 11 points and received most valuable player honors in the finals, though Javier topped the field with a baker’s dozen.
In the consolation match, Rollers 2 assumed control early, 12-8, as six different players hit the mark out of the gate.
Rollers 2’s Jun Fidelino then took the floor and tallied 7 checks that stretched it to a 22-14 margin at intermission.
Rollers 2 continued to produce after the pause and would have pulled away if not for a couple of strikes from behind the arc by Hi-5’s Elnathan Wong and Alan Akaya, though the former still established a comfortable 32-24 cushion heading into the final period.
Hi-5 benefited from Rollers 2 high scorer Fidelino on the bench and did not wilt late in the game. The underdogs squad threatened with a big rally in its final stand, but in the end Rollers 2’s Mike Espinosa delivered six clutch baskets that thwarted the upset.
Fidelino’s 17 points from the prior three quarters would ultimately set the bar. Hi-5’s Carl Aldan came up just one basket short of eclipsing his mark.
Rollers 1 43 – Factor 11, Feria 8, Iglesias 8,Morales 6, Malonzo 5, Ano 3, De Luna 2.
Matson Consulting Proa 39 – Javier 13, De Leon 8, Pamintuan 8, Mendoza 5, Camacho 2, Manalili 2, Palacios 1.
Scoring by quarters: 10-10, 19-16, 32-26, 43-39.
Rollers 2 42 – Fidelino 17, Deocares 6, Espinosa 6, Cenir 5, Kwon 2, Darag 2, Ellama 2, Adama 1, Cadua 1.
Hi-5 38 – Aldan 15, Cruz 4, A Francisco 4, W Francisco 4, Wong 4, Okaya 3, Arciaga 2.
Scoring by quarters: 12-8, 22-14, 32-24, 42-38.