The Shottas and the R-Rebels face off tonight in the deciding Game 3 of their championship series in the U25 division of Docomo Pacific's 3rd Summer Basketball League at the Garapan Basketball Court.
The 5:30m rubber match is anybody's game after the rival squads traded lopsided wins in their first two meetings in the best-of-three final series.
The R-Rebels routed the Shottas in Game 1, 61-40, last Saturday in Garapan. Then the Shottas roared back the next day at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium, winning Game 2, 51-37.
The R-Rebels came to play in the series opener and catapulted ahead at the break, 31-13, off the coattails of shooting guard Trevor Ogumoro.
Ogumoro's 12 points almost matched the Shottas' total production. He also received nine markers from Ben Lisua to give R-Rebels the big cushion.
The Shottas was clearly out of sync out of the gate with only Frank Mettao trying to start something for the team with his 6 points.
The Shottas managed to get the wheels turning in the second half, but simply fell behind early and never launched a big comeback.
Roy Norita took over from Ogumoro in the second half, tallying 16 points. Norita's burst in the closing period left him with game-high scoring honors, while Mettao scrambled for a dozen in the loss.
The Shottas brushed themselves off the next day for Game 2 and worked out an early 25-19 edge at halftime, thanks largely to an improved defensive approach and a pair of three-pointers from Ray Babauta late in the period.
The Shottas did a good job keeping a lid on R-Rebels' scoring duo, Ogumoro and Norita, in Game 2, holding the pair to just a dozen in the first frame.
The Shottas stuck to its defensive plan, while power forward Eugene Manglona heated up on offense in the second half. He dropped 11 markers in the payoff period, matching Ogumoro and Norita's combine effort, while Mettao chipped in 6.
Manglona finished with a game-high 15 points, while R-Rebels' Ogumoro managed a dozen on the short end.
R-Rebels 61 - Norita 16, Ogumoro 14, Lisua 11, Litulumar 10, Nawaz 8.
Shottas 40 - Mettao 12, Manglona 7, R. Babauta 7, Caro 5, Mai 4, Santos 3, Taitano 2
Scoring by halves: 31-13, 61-40.
Shottas 51 - Manglona 15, Mettao 9, R. Babauta 9, Hossain 8, Taitano 6, Z Babauta 4
R-Rebels 40 - Ogumoro 12, Norita 11, Camacho 5, Lisua 5, Nawaz 4.
Scoring by halves: 25-19, 51-37.