Rollers Basketball Club's Rollers 1, 2, and 3 squads all arose victorious in the U16 opener of the 2012 Saipan Rotary Club Youth Basketball League held last Saturday morning at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
Rollers 1 stood up against the defending champion Proa, 48-42, in the curtain raiser and Rollers 2 held off Hi-5 in the second pairing, 47-45, while the third scheduled game resulted in a forfeit victory for Rollers 3 over RBC's D-South.
Proa jumped out to a healthy 12-5 lead in the first quarter, as Rollers 1 needed to warm up its engine. Rollers 1 then got revved up in the second period and pulled within a basket at halftime, 18-20, thanks to CJ Morales' 9 points.
William Camacho took the seat in the second period after providing Proa with 8 points early in the game and Ankie Manalili was the only one who stepped up on offense as the defending champion had its hand full on the other end of the court.
After the break, Rollers 1's Prince Factor and Emerson Feria took over the game, teaming up for 14 points in the third quarter and putting their squad in the lead, 37-32, heading into crunch time.
Camacho grinded out eight points in response in the fourth quarter, but the Rollers' 1-2 punch added 11 markers in the final period to secure the win.
The pair finished with a total of 25 points, while Morales also had double figures, adding 11. Camacho and Kobe Mendoza combined for 26.
In the second game, Hi-5 buried a couple of three-pointers right off the bat and do-it-all man Wilfredo Francisco scored six early points for their slim 18-17 edge.
Rollers 2's Warren Ellama pulled a five-point string late in the opening period to keep up with Hi-5 and his teammates bit down on defense in the second quarter to wrestle the lead at midpoint. Rollers 2 contained Hi-5 to seven points in the second canto to move in front at halftime, 28-25.
The game remained close through the third quarter, as both teams shared the ball well before Rollers 2 managed to save a 3-point cushion 37-34, heading into the final canto.
In the end, Hi-5 scratched and clawed, as the Rollers 2 would not be denied with John Darag and Michael Espinosa teaming up for 25 points and Ellama chipping in 9. Francisco had a team-high 15 on the short end.
Meanwhile, U16 games will resume this Saturday with D-South facing Rollers 1 at 9am; Rollers 2 meeting Rollers 3 at 10:15am; and Proa challenging Hi-5 at 11am.
In today's U20 match at 5:30pm, the Chalan Kanoa Saints debut against RBC's Rollers 1 (0-1).
Rollers 1 48 - Factor 14, Feria 13, Morales 11, Ano 7, Iglesias 3.
Proa 42 - Camacho 16, Mendoza 10, Manalili 8, Javier 3, De Leon 2, Wanket 2, Quinn 2.
Scoring by quarters: 5-12, 18-20, 37-32, 48-42.
Rollers 2 47 - Darag 15, Espinosa 10, Ellama 9, Alcor 4, Cenir 4, Cadua 2, Fidelino 2, Kwon 1.
Hi-5 45 - Francisco 15, Cruz 8, Borromeo 7, Aruoga 4, Mercene 4, Ocaya 3, Cristobal 2, Wong 2.
Scoring by quarters: 17-18, 28-25, 37-34, 47-45.