Hi-5 sweated out a 48-39 victory over Agape Torchbearers during their U20 game in the Rotary Club of Saipan's 21st Youth Basketball League last Monday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
The Torchbearers flirted with their first win of the season, but crumbled as Hi-5 turned up the pressure in the final period and bagged its third win in eight games. Agape absorbed its eighth loss.
Both teams started slow as the scored was knotted at 11-apiece after the first quarter of play. Agape and Hi-5 then continued to trade baskets in the second period, but the former managed to grind out a 23-21 cushion at midpoint.
Joseph Yang led Agape in the first half with his 7 points, five of which came from the stripe, and he received six in support from Richard Chen.
Emerson Feria and Don Hockett paced Hi-5, as they recorded 7 points apiece in the first half and the former added 4 more in the third quarter to force another deadlock, 31-all, heading into crunch time.
Chang also earned 4 markers in the third quarter, but Agape struggled to hunt down rebounds and committed a number of unnecessary fouls that hindered its game plan.
Hi-5 employed its fullcourt press in the fourth quarter and disoriented the Torchbearers.
Hi-5's depth also proved to be the deciding factor, as it shared the ball well in the clutch and ran away with the win in the end.
Feria, Claud Cruz, and Richard Hofschneider all sunk a pair of baskets in the payoff period, while Agape was contained to only 8 points on the other end to remain winless this year.
Feria top-scored for Hi-Five with a baker's dozen, while Yang had 15 points in the defeat.
Meanwhile, the third-ranked Marianas Resort/NMC Proa (6-1) took on the second-running Rollers 2 (7-1) yesterday and details of the match will be released tomorrow, while the Rollers 1 (3-3) will square off against Kagman (2-5) at 5:30pm today.
Other teams competing in the U20 division include reigning champions Sonics (8-0), the Oleai Ol'Aces (3-2), LD Prime (2-5), and the Chalan Kanoa Saints (2-6).
Hi-5 48 - Feria 13, Hockett 8, Cabaltica 6, Cruz 6, Hofschneider 6, Villanueva 4, Sapo 1, Cristobal 2, Aldan 2.
Agape Torchbearers 39 - Yang 15, Lin 12, Chan 6, Li 6.
Scoring by quarters: 11-11, 21-23, 31-31, 48-39.