Hi-Five kept its streak in the 2012 Emon Lodge 179 Basketball League-Docomo Brotherhood Cup after prevailing in a fight-marred match against the Archers, 66-49, at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
Hi-Five gained its fourth victory in a row after losing its debut, while the Archers dropped to a dismal 0-4 slate.
The Archers-Hi-Five tiff was played on a cold Tuesday night, but the chilly weather failed to cool off the heated game which reached its boiling point in the closing seconds of the third quarter, as Hi-Five's James Lee and the Archers' Jack Lizama got into each other's nerves.
The incident started on the Archers' court with Lizama making a spin move against Lee from the right baseline. Lizama was called for a hooking foul and he and Lee exchanged heated words after the referees broke the play. The verbal tussle continued at Hi-Five's front court and just when the referees were preparing to resume the game, Lizama caught Lee off guard with a headbutt. Lee fell on the floor and players from both camps soon joined the commotion and prevented further altercation. Lee got up with blood oozing from his nose and he later sustained a cut near his nasal bone.
Lizama was disqualified for the headbutt incident and was ordered to leave the court. Hi-Five's Alex Standish was also ejected from the game for leaving the bench and going inside the court. He later argued he was just breaking up the fight, but still left the match after going to the Archers' bench and shaking hands with their foes.
Police officers also arrived at the gym and talked to the involved parties.
Hi-Five and the Archers went on to play the remaining 56 seconds of the third quarter and the former kept the driver's seat at the end of that canto, 45-35.
With one of their offensive threat out, the Archers went on to drop their fourth straight game.
Hi-Five controlled the match early when it led, 23-9, behind the 8 points of Dan Barcinas. Then the one-sided game became interesting and more physical in the second quarter when the Archers started a comeback, while Hi-Five tried to hang on to its double-digit lead. There were a lot of second motions, pushing, and complains on calls and non-calls alike, making the game ripe for the third-quarter squabble.
Meanwhile, league commissioner Ed Manalili, in a telephone interview with Saipan Tribune yesterday, said he is still waiting for the referees report about the incident and once he gets it, he will call on a committee meeting to decide on the matter.
Armatech 104, Servitek 66
In the second game, Armarech finally broke into the win column after five futile tries, following its demolition of Servitek (0-6).
Six Armatech players scored in double figures with Elmer Esdrelon leading the way with his 18 points. Martin Moreno chipped in 14, Jawn Joyner added 13, Jerome Ano and Ferdie Tobias had 12, and Jared Ano contributed 10.
Moreno and Esdrelon teamed for 18 points in the opening period, lifting Armatech to a 26-15 lead. Island Servitek never recovered from thereon.
Hi-Five 66 - Mendiola 18, Barcinas 14, Iguel 8, Standish 7, Peters 3, Quitugua 2.
Archers 49 - Bernardo 16, Muleta 9, Lizama 8, Mendoza 4, David 3.
Scoring by quarters: 23-9, 31-23, 45-35, 66-49.
Armatech 104 - Esdrelon 18, Moreno 14, Joyner 13, Tobias 12, Je. Ano 12, Ja. Ano 10, Sacramento 9, Trajano 6, Guiab 4.
Servitek 66 - Detera 21, Kenty 14, Jose 4, Rio 6, Brennan 6, Esconde 2, Alano 2.
Scoring by quarters: 26-15, 51-27, 78-48, 104-66.