Pohnpei 88 Kiribati 87
Majuro–– The first game of morning five was an exhilarating one at Outrigger’s Micronesian Basketball Tournament 2000. Kiribati and Pohnpei played a fast-pace, up-tempo game that wowed the few spectators that were present at 10 am. Defense was not a concern as Pohnpei and Kiribati raced down the floor time and time again. Taking it strong to the basket at the end of the half gave Kiribati a 45-41 edge over Pohnpei. The intensity only increased in the second half with four lead changes down the stretch. Both teams were poised for victory at 3:00, but Pohnpei snuck ahead 81-80. Tensions mounted with 25 seconds left in the game with both clubs tied at 87. Kiribati committed a key foul with six seconds left and Mitchell Neth of Pohnpei hit 1 of 2 free throws to take a one-point lead. Time ran out before Pohnpei could attempt a last second shot.
Kiribati Men out rebounded Pohnpei 54-36. Accurate shooting, however, was the deciding factor. Pohnpei won a slim marginal, shooting battle, making 54 percent of its shots compared to Kiribati’s 51.
David Collins of Kiribati led all scorers with 27 points. Mitchell Neth of Pohnpei was a scorching 11 of 12 from the field and finished with 25 points. Other key contributors for Pohnpei were Cassidy Shoniber (21 points) and Richard Adams (16 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists).
(Eric Graham, Majuro)
Guam 114 Yap 17
In the second women’s game, Guam rolled to a decisive 114-17 victory over yap. From the start, all pistons were firing for the Guam machine. An unyielding full-court pressure enabled Guam to take an early lead by holding Yap scoreless for the first five minutes of regulation. The blowout “was on” as Guam took an insurmountable 61-6 halftime advantage. To Yap’s credit, they came out and hit some early second half baskets. Showing a resilient heart, Yap never quit until the final buzzer sounded.
Guam’s defensive pressure forced Pohnpei into missed shots and numerous turnovers. Total steals went to Guam by a romping difference of 34-6. Not only was the defensive superb, Guam’s offense shot an impressive 66 percent from the floor. Guam dominated all other notable statistical categories.
Iona Evangelista and Helena Fernandez led Guam’s precision attack with 22 points apiece. Selina Tereas of Guam nearly missed a triple double with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists. Fernandez also contributed 8 assists and 9 steals for Guam’s winning effort. Yap’s game leaders were Sarah Mugyan (11 rebounds) and Mary Leemut (8 points).
Pohnpei Men (2-1)* will play Guam (3-0) in the medal round on Saturday, August 5th. Kiribati Men (0-2) will play Kosrae (0-2) tomorrow, August 4th. Guam Women (4-0) will play Palau (3-0) tomorrow. Yap Women (0-4) will play RMI (2-1) tomorrow.