AK Toyota bounces back


Atkins Kroll Toyota quickly recovered from its debut loss after topping Mystique BBQ, 78-68, in the first game in the Atkins Kroll Marianas International Basketball League last Wednesday at the Marianas High School Gymnasium.

Big men Alex Lauron, George De Guzman, and Kelvin Fitial delivered for AK Toyota, as all three scored in double figures, asserting their might against the much smaller Mystique frontliners to make easy baskets in the paint and dominate the rebounds department. Lauron and De Guzman recorded 16 points apiece and combined for 12 rebounds, while Fitial added 13 markers and 8 rebounds.

Fitial posted 9 of his total points in the fourth quarter, as he muscled his way into the paint to hit point-blank shots and help AK Toyota gain more cushion against Mystique after holding just a 5-point lead at the end of the third, 57-52.

De Guzman, on the other hand, did the damage in the second and third frames where he logged 14 markers, while Lauron took care of business in the first after registering 8 points.

With Lauron, De Guzman, and Fitial on the floor, plus Atkins Kroll vice president and general manager Clark Boswell coming off the bench, AK outrebounded Mystique, 53-24. AK, which lost its debut (against The Game) last week, moved the ball well in its second match in the 10-team league, resulting to 30 assists against the 20 of Mystique.

Backing up AK Toyota’s big men on offense was Jedial Manalo, who also finished in twin digits with his 12 points, while Jeffrey Borja had an all-around game, recording 7 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds.

On the Mystique’s side, Joseph Torres was the lone bright spot on the team after firing a game-high 25. Jerald Rivera was the only other double-figure for Mystique after tallying 11 points, but had only 2 points in the fourth quarter.

Caravan’s 74, Bridge Capital 68
Caravan’s had a winning debut after outclassing Bridge Capital in the second game.

Josh Andrew and Ken Viray teamed up in giving Caravan’s a good start in the inaugural league with the former scoring 20 points and the latter adding 20. Sid Quan contributed 12 markers, including 8 in the fourth quarter to keep Bridge Capital at bay after it threatened Caravan’s, cutting the deficit to 3 in the third, 56-59.

Earlier in the first half, Viray finished the opening 20 minutes of play with 13 points, while Andrew chipped in 10, giving Caravan’s a 43-34 advantage.

Bridge Capital fell behind in the first half, as its gunners could not get their offensive game going with Matt Duenas limited to two field goals and 5 points and Freddie Pelisamen held to a deuce. Pete Lizama, Leeroy Rangamar, and C.J. Teregeyo tried to keep Bridge Capital afloat, as they combined for 17 points in the first half.

After a so-so performance in the first half, Duenas stepped up in the penultimate canto with his 12 points, while Rangamar knocked in two triples and scored 8 to bring Bridge Capital within 3, going into the fourth canto. However, Bridge Capital failed to surpass Caravan’s in the fourth, as Quan hit enough baskets to keep his team in the lead. Duenas, after his double-digit output in the third, was neutralized in the fourth and logged only 2 points.

Meanwhile, three more teams will play their first game in the league tomorrow. Ms. Villagomez will take on IT&E Explorers in the first match at 6pm, while Aqua Resort Club will duel TanHoldings, which lost in the opener against Saipan Vegas.

First Game
AK Toyota 78—De Guzman 16, Lauron 16, Fitial 13, Manalo 12, Borja 7, Boswell 6, Catalla 2, Francis 2.
Mystique 68—Torres 25, Rivera 11, Candel 6, Moises 5, Broncano 4, Bernardo 4, Casbin 3, Tekopua 2, Gaviola 2, Castillo 2, Jandoc 2, Natividad 2.
Scoring by quarters: 22-21, 40-35, 57-52, 78-68.

Second Game
Caravan’s 74—Andrew 22, Viray 20, Quan 12, Peters 7, Tenorio 4, Standish 3, Tudela 3, Rasa 3, Rotap 2.
Bridge Capital 68—Rangamar 18, M. Duenas 17, Rogolifoi 8, Lizama 6, Teregeyo 5, Pelisamen 4, E. Duenas 2, M. Duenas 2.
Scoring by quarters: 20-13, 43-34, 59-56, 74-68.

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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