Madson Consulting's Proa and Rollers Basketball Club's Rollers 2 were triumphant against separate opponents as the Saipan Rotary Club Youth Basketball League's U16 age division picked up last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
Both victors evened out their respective win-loss records to 1-1, while the CNMI Jr. National Basketball Team and RBC's Rollers 1 were each gifted forfeit wins to keep their cards flawless at 2-0.
After Rollers 1's forfeit win to its absentee sister team, D-South (0-2), a resurgent Hi-5 (0-2) squad controlled the pace early on and established two-possession lead at the half over the defending champion Proa in the second pairing, but went cold after the break, and left the door open for a strong 47-31 come-from-behind victory by Proa.
Meanwhile, Rollers 2 outran the CNMI Jr. National Girls Basketball Team, 67-49, in the last scheduled matchup thanks to an overdue fourth quarter push.
Hi-5 came ready to compete on Saturday and erected a 10-6 lead in the opening 10 minutes thanks largely to 6 points from Jethro Cruz.
The team stuck to its defensive scheme in the second quarter and maintained the edge at halftime, 20-15, from a pair of 3-pointers late in the period.
Surprised by its deficit midway through the game, Proa made some adjustments at the break and uncorked a 20-point surge in the third quarter and turned the tables on its opponents.
Ankie Manalili and Kobe Mendoza delivered 6 points apiece in what went down as the defining moment of the match, and Hi-5 was abruptly limited to just 4 checks in the period, which enabled Proa to take a 35-24 advantage heading into the final period.
In the end, Proa turned up the heat even more in the fourth quarter to erase any shred of doubt of an upset.
Hi-5's offense dwindled as the game progressed and only managed 6 points in the payoff period.
Proa's Mendoza led the defending champions with 10 points, while Hi-5's Cruz topped the field with 12.
In the second match, Rollers 2's Mike Cenir paced the group with 6 points in the first quarter as they built a comfortable 18-7 lead.
Melvin Deocares picked up where he left off with a half dozen markers of his own as both teams traded points in the second quarter.
Rollers 2 maintained control, 30-17, at the half and thought they were out of the woods, but the CNMI Girls Junior National Team was not ready to throw in the towel.
Friendly Pena scrambled for 8 points in the girls' third quarter rally that put them within one-possession, 42-45, with 10 hot minutes left in regulation.
Rollers 2 would regroup and put out the fire in the end, however, and held its rivals to just 7 points at crunch time as they trotted away with the win.
Rollers 2's John Darag, Michael Espinosa, and Jun Fidelino all stepped up in the fourth quarter to help secure the win.
Espinosa carried the crew with a game-high 19 points, while the CNMI Girls' Rachel Abrams turned in 15 in defeat.
Madson Consulting Proa 47 - Deleon 10, Mendoza 8, Wanket 8, Manalili 6, Javier 5, Amog 4, Ogasawara 4, Feria 1.
Hi-5 31 - Cruz 12, Francisco 7, Sebangan 5, Mercene 3, Wong 3.
Scoring by quarters: 6-10, 15-20, 35-24, 47-31.
Rollers 2 67 - Espinosa 19, Darag 10, Fidelino 8, Adama 8, Cenir 6, Deocares 6, Kwon 4, Ellama 2, Bucayo 2.
CNMI Girls Jr. National 49 - Abrams 15, Williams 11, Pena 11, Ito 8, Samson 2, Alegre 2.
Scoring by quarters: 18-7, 30-19, 45-42, 67-49.