Young guns C.J. Morales and Chris Mizer were named most valuable players in their respective divisions in the 22nd Annual Saipan Rotary Club Youth Basketball League.
Morales, who plays shooting guard for KFC/Taco Bell, took the MVP award in the U15 division. He was among the consistent top scorers for KFC/Taco Bell, which eventually won the division championship in the Rotary caging. The 13-year-old knocked in 20 points in KFC/Taco Bell’s 88-75 title win over DYS. Morales’ 8 points in the opening quarter of the winner-take-all finals helped KFC/Taco Bell keep up with DYS, 20-22. He added 7 more points in the second canto to put KFC in the lead, 44-39, before his teammates took over in the second half of the title match.
In the regular season, Morales willed KFC/Taco Bell to a 3-1 record and the top seeding in the playoffs. He also scored in twin digits in three of their five games in the elimination round. The lefty had his best showing against the Ol’Aces after firing 25 points. Morales then had 13 and 11 versus the Rebelholics and Rollers, respectively, and logged 7 points apiece against the DYS and DA Projects.
With KFC/Taco Bell getting the top seeding in the six-team field, it also bagged the automatic semis berth and in the Final Four, Morales notched 18 points to power his team to the 74-45 victory over the Rebelholics.
Meanwhile, Mizer towed the S.J. Ol’Aces to a perfect record (7-0) in the regular season to get the coveted individual award in the U19 division. He averaged close to 12 markers per game in the round-robin elimination, earning his most points (19) against the Kagman Cougars.
In the semifinals, the S.J. Ol’Aces shooting forward missed recording twin digits with his 9 points, but played a solid offensive game in the title match against the two-time champions Sonics. Mizer sizzled for 26 points to lead all scorers and lift the S.J. Ol’Aces to the 86-74 finals win. His impressive 3-point shooting in the fourth canto allowed the S.J. Ol’Aces to take full control of the match after the game was pretty even in the first half and the eventual champion clung to a 3-point lead in the third. Mizer drained 4 triples and scored 15 of his total markers in the pivotal fourth canto.