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Friday, April 18, 2014

Out-of-Shape, A-Team sweep semis foes in Rocball league

J.R. Gechig, seen here in a file photo, led Out-of-Shape to the semis sweep against Rollerz in the Rocball league last week at the Marianas High School Gymnasium. (SAIPAN TRIBUNE) Out-of-Shape and A-Team arranged their title showdown in the 29th Saipan Rocball League after sweeping separate opponents in the semifinals last week at the Marianas High School Gymnasium.

Top-ranked Out-of-Shape was paired against last qualifier Rollerz and won the first two games of the best-of-three semis series to advance to the finals. Out-of-Shape routed Rollerz in Game 1, 44-15, and had another convincing win in the series clinching Game 2, 51-35.

J.R. Gechig led Out-of-Shape in Game 2 with his 12 points off three aces, two kees, and one xunx. J.R.’s sister Knohlynn contributed 10 markers after gaining three aces and two kees.

With the Gechig siblings in sync, Out-of-Shape won three of the four sets played in Game 2. The top-seeded squad prevailed in the opening set, 13-5, and swept the last two, 13-6, 13-10. Rollerz avoided a shutout after taking the second set, 14-12.

J.R. Gechig was also the heavy hitter in Out-of-Shape’s Game 1 win. He got four aces, three kees, and one xunk for 16 points and had enough help from Chenny Lizama, who finished with 12 points off four kees, one xunk, and one kee.

In the other semis pairing, A-Team secured the sweep after pulling off a 30-29 victory against the Teachers in Game 2. The Teachers drew first blood, cruising to a 12-2 win in the opening set. A-Team then recovered in the second set with a 17-4 win, but the Teachers also bounced back in the third with a 13-1 triumph to keep their finals hopes alive.

The Teachers went up by 11 points, 29-18, after three sets, forcing A-Team to score 12 points to gain the outright win and the second finals seat. A-Team did what the doctor ordered, shutting out the Teachers, 12-0, to set a finals date with Out-of-Shape.

T.J. Eina had 10 points in Game 2 for A-Team, which moved one victory away from advancing to the finals after a double overtime win in Game 1.

The Teachers prevailed in three of the four sets in Game 1. The recorded a 12-2 win in the opening set and 14-4 and 13-10, in the next two, but A-Team steal the fourth set, 14-4. The Teachers led in regulation, 43-30, but could not take the win, as Rocball rules state that a leading team can only get the victory provided it also wins the fourth set.

With the Teachers missing an automatic victory, Game 1 went into overtime with the Teachers needing to win only one set to thwart A-Team, which was pressured to triumph in two sets. A-Team went on to complete the come-from-behind win after downing the Teachers twice, 6-2, 6-2,
A-Team and Out-of-Shape will begin their best-of-five championship series tomorrow.

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