2OT thriller as MIBL tourney starts


Eats Easy and Aqua Resort Club players meet at center court for the jump ball of the Inaugural IT&E MIBL Fantasy Draft Tournament last Friday at the Agape Gymnasium. (MARK RABAGO)

The Inaugural IT&E MIBL Fantasy Draft Tournament got started last Friday with Eats Easy and AK Toyota outlasting separate opponents at the Agape Gymnasium.

In the first game, East Easy needed double overtime to beat Aqua Resort Club, 105-104.

Despite being deployed off the bench, Jaymark De Guzman started quickly by scoring 7 points in the first canto that gave Eats Easy a 22-18 lead.

Joseph Sablan took over the scoring cudgels in the second, unloading 6 of his points as Eats Easy entered halftime with a more comfortable 45-35 advantage.

Eats Easy continued to control the game in the third as national player Jeffrey Castro dialed up two from 3-point range to help his team to a 66-58 spread entering the fourth period.

Aqua Resort wasn’t about to give up the fight though, as Jack Aranda saved his best for last, shooting his team back into the ballgame by exploding for 16 points in the final 10 minutes of regulation to force overtime.

In fact, his 4-point play with the precious seconds ticking down forced a 91-all deadlock that necessitated the game going into two extensions.

In the two OTs, De Guzman made sure East East would sleep well that night as he added 8 more points to his team-high 31 to lead his team to the 1-point win.

Joseph Sablan and Castro also finished with 20 points and 18 points, respectively to pack up De Guzman. Aranda fired a game-high 35 markers in the loss, while Keith Santos and Greg Sablan knocked in 18 points apiece for Aqua Resort.

In the second game, national player Shane Deleon Guerrero led AK Toyota to a 69-61 victory over Latte Built.

AK Toyota zoomed to a 18-10 lead after the opening quarter before Latte Built whittled it down to 35-29 at the break.

National players Gerald Flores and Don Brennan would combine for 12 points as Latte Built tied things up at 45-all after three quarters of play.

But Deleon Guerrero would come alive again in the fourth and final canto, spraying 8 points from all over the court to lead AK Toyota to the 8-point win.

Flores matched Deleon Guerrero’s 26 points in the loss for Latte Built, while Brennan tossed in 10 markers of his own. 
First Game
Eats Easy 105 – De Guzman 31, Sablan 20, Castro 18, Macaraig 10, Deleon Guerrero 10, Ferran 2, Li 1.
Aqua Resort Club 104 – Aranda 35, Sablan 18, Santos 18, Palacios 14, Cui 6, Lu 2, Ma 2.
Scoring by quarters: 22-18, 45-35, 66-58, 91-91, 105-104 (OT).
Second Game
AK Toyota 69 – Deleon Guerrero 26, Camacho 9, Lilies 9, Grantor 6, Velasco 6, Ferrer 4, Directo 4, Bryan 2, Joseph 2.
Latte Built 61 – Flores 26, Brennan 10, Mariano 9, Aughenbaugh 8, Francisco 4, Airson 2.
Scoring by quarters: 18-10, 35-29, 45-45, 69-61.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at Mark_Rabago@saipantribune.com

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