The R-Rebels held off the Shottas' late rally to pull off a title clinching 48-45 victory in the U25 division of the 3rd Docomo Pacific Summer Basketball League last Saturday night at the Garapan Basketball Court.
The champion team is composed of Edwin Camacho, Omar Nawaz, Roy Norita, Ben Lisua, Fred Litulumar, Trevor Ogumoro and Chen Zhang.
The finalists, which were presented with team trophies after the game, were forced to play Game 3 of their short title series after splitting their first two meetings. The first two games were won on lopsided fashions, but the third and last one went down-to-the-wire.
The Shottas started Game 3 with seven straight points before the R-Rebels hit the board in the opening 20-minutes. Though the R-Rebels started a little cold, they remained patient and managed to sew up a 30-22 advantage at halftime.
Trevor Ogumoro was on-point from the tip for the R-Rebels and sunk two three-pointers for a dozen markers in the first half. Shottas' Eugene Manglona also caught fire out of the gate and tallied 14 markers, but received support only from Frank Mettao, who managed a modest three buckets through the intermission, leaving the team with an 8-point deficit.
The R-Rebels then shut out Mettao in the second half, but they could not find an answer for a pesky Manglona, who almost single-handedly pulled off the comeback.
Manglona traded baskets with the opposing squad throughout the second half in an effort to chip away at the R-Rebels' two-possession lead and although his teammates stiffened up on defense, Manglona failed to get help on offense to complete the resurgence.
The Shottas forward chimed in another 14-point chunk in the closing period, but the Shottas fell a trey short of forcing overtime. It actually had a chance to gamble on a foul, when trailing, 45-48, in the final 15 seconds, but did not notice the clock in time, and the R-Rebels waited out the final ticks from the top of the key to preserve the lead and the win.
Ogumoro led the R-Rebels' well-balanced attack with 16 points. His four other teammates combined for 26 and two others also broke into the scoreboard. Manglona carried Shottas with his 28. Mettao had 6 and three others were only accounted for only 11 markers.
R-Rebels 48 - Ogumoro 16, Norita 9, Lisua 6, Litulumar 6, Camacho 5, Zhang 4, Nawaz 2.
Shottas 45 - Manglona 28, Mettao 6, Taitano 5, Caro 4, Fred 2.
Scoring by halves: 30-22, 48-45.