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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Unbeaten Hula Girls clinches championship

Hula Girls’ Ira Palero pulls up for a baseline jumper against a Tappers defender during their playoff game in the girls division of the Sun Palace caging last Friday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.(ROSELYN B. MONROYO) Hula Girls capped its perfect run in the 2013 Sun Palace Christmas Basketball Tournament with a 64-53 title win over Wrecking Balls last Saturday night at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.

Hula Girls held Wrecking Balls to 11 points in the first half and shut down Rachel Abrams to set up the double-digit win and complete its domination in the four-team field. Counting its finals victory last weekend, Hula Girls won all its eight games in the Sun Palace caging.

The eventual champion swept the double-round robin preliminary games and then crushed Tappers in the semifinals, 56-17, to gain the first finals berth. Wrecking Balls also whopped Futball, 53-28, in the other semis pairing to arrange the championship showdown between the Top 2 finishers in the preliminary round.

Abrams scored early in Wrecking Balls’ semis win against Futball, but in the finals versus Hula Girls, the mobile center was off in the opening 20 minutes of play. Actually, majority of Wrecking Balls players struggled offensively in the first half with only Kaylani Lebria drilling more than one basket for the team.

Irish Pagarao and Jan Travilla outgunned the entire Wrecking Ball crew in the first half, as they scored 7 points apiece and helped Hula Girls take a 22-11 halftime lead.

After a no-show in the first half, Abrams took over for Wrecking Balls in the second half, but Hula Girls countered with successive shots from downtown to keep its safe distance and foil its foe’s comeback bid. Hula Girls connected on nine triples in the second half with Pagarao firing five of them and Travilla adding three. Friendly Joy Pena hit the other triple for Hula Girls.
Pagarao top-scored for Hula Girls with her 22, while Travilla chipped in 16. Mikki Kautz also finished in twin digits with 13.

Hula Girls 64 – Pagarao 22, Travilla 16, Kautz 13, I. Palero 6, Pena 6, J. Palero 2.
Wrecking Balls 53 – Abrams 22, Ito 10, Williams 10, Reyes 9, Lebria 4.
Scoring by halves: 22-11, 64-53.

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