Ace, 5-Star upset opponents


5-Star Construction’s Francis Estanislao pulls up for a shot against two MGNEL Construction defenders during an earlier game in the MIBF caging at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. 5-Star stunned Saipan Apparel in last Monday’s lone match at the San Antonio court. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Ace Hardware and 5-Star Construction stunned their favored opponents in the Mariana Islands Basketball Federation’s Inaugural Men’s Outdoor League.

Ace Hardware downed erstwhile unbeaten Ol’Aces, 82-72, last Wednesday night at the San Antonio court, while 5-Star edged Saipan Apparel, 81-76, last Monday. Only one match was played last Wednesday, as the Saipan Antonio-GMI tiff in the second game was rained out, while Duenas Compound was awarded a win via forfeiture (no show) against the Chinese Association last Monday.

With Ace Hardware handing the Ol’Aces their first loss this season, there is now a three-way tie for the lead in the 11-team field. The Ol’Aces, Ace Hardware, and Duenas Compound are in a deadlock for the top spot with their similar 5-1 records.

Marvin Rabauliman, Ken Viray, Sid Quan, and Alex Lauron teamed up in Ace Hardware’s upset of the Ol’Aces as the quartet combined for more than half of the team’s output after scoring in double figures. Rabauliman had his first twin-digit contribution for Ace Hardware after making 19 points—the same output Viray had—while Quan and Lauron logged 18 and 10, respectively.

Rabauliman and company alternately hit baskets for Ace Hardware in the fourth quarter to keep its distance against the Ol’Aces, which had the driver’s seat after the first half, but lost it after firing blanks in the second.

In last Monday’s game, 5-Star also played better in the fourth canto to eke out a 5-point win over Saipan Apparel.

The opposing teams were back to square at the start of the final period as the third quarter ended in a tie, 56-all. 5-Star (3-4) then managed to gain cushion in the fourth frame, thanks to Jestoni Pineda’s 3-point shooting and Angelo Fernandho’s multiple baskets.

Pineda knocked in three triples in the pivotal fourth and had 11 of his 28 points in that quarter. Fernando also logged 28 markers, 8 of them came in the final canto.

Saipan Apparel only had Jerome Norita scoring more than one field goal in the fourth period and he recorded 13 of the team’s 20 points in the last 10 minutes of play. Kelvin Fitial was held to a deuce after compiling 22 points in the first three quarters, while Pete Lizama and Derrick Rangamar registered the two other field goals for Saipan Apparel (3-3).

Wednesday Game
Ace Hardware 82 — Rabauliman 19, Viray 19, Quan 18, Lauron 10, Younis 4, Hammond 3, Babauta 4.

Ol’Aces 72 — Barcinas 27, Basa 16, Iginoef 11, Nakashima 7, Palino 5, Iguel 4, Sablan 2.

Scoring by quarters: 21-21, 32-39, 59-54, 82-72.

Monday Game
5-Star 81— Fernando 28, Pineda 28, Munar 11, Hernaez 10, Babauta 6.

Saipan Apparel 76 — Fitial 24, Norita 17, Teregeyo 10, Derrick Rangamar 9, Lisua 8, Lizama 8.

Scoring by quarters: 12-14, 34-36, 56-56, 81-76.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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