Alpha Males worked its way back from an early loss and ruled the Tinian leg of the 3×3 Hoopfest Marianas 2017 after beating Busta in the finals, 16-11, last Sunday at the Tinian Gymnasium.
Alpha Males, which bowed to Typhoons in its opening game, 16-21, drew 5 points apiece from Joey Patrick San Nicolas and Antonio Borja to top Busta in the winner-take-all championship match and earn a trip to Saipan for the final leg of the 3×3 Hoopfest Marianas 2017. Peter Cepeda and Ki Kwon were the other members of the winning squad and they also hit the board in the finals with the latter adding 4 points and the former chipping in 2.
Anthony Borja paced the runner-up Busta with his 4 points, while Joseph Santos contributed 3, and Julian Santos and Fritz San Nicolas recorded 2 points apiece.
Before being held to a pair of baskets, Julian Santos earlier tallied 9 points to power Busta to a tough 21-20 victory against Typhoons in the first semis game. Anthony Borja matched Julian’s output to move Busta within a win from securing a spot to the 3×3 Hoopfest Marianas 201. San Nicolas completed Busta’s box scores in the semis match, registering 3 markers.
Bradley Lizama led all scorers in the first Final Four Pairing after firing 11 points, while Juanis King, Dustin Sablan, and Earl Borja logged 3 markers each for Typhoons.
In the second semis game, Alpha Males outclassed Brothers, 18-15.
Peter Cepeda was at the forefront of Alpha Males’ offense in their finals win after recording 7 points. Borja added 6, while Joey Patrick San Nicolas made 5. Kim King paced Brothers with his 7 points, while Paka and Esteven Sablan posted 4 and 3, respectively, and Kioni Sablan registered a point.
The semis loss was the first for Brothers, which was slightly favored against Alpha Males after sweeping its first two games in the elimination.
Brothers debuted in the Tinian leg of the 3×3 tournament with a 21-9 crushing of Typhoons 2. Kioni Sablan broke into double figures in their opening game after knocking in 10, while Paka had 6, and Esteven and King made 3 and 2, respectively. Jared King had 4 points to lead Typhoons 2.
Next up for the Brothers Busta and the former also prevailed, 21-15. Again, Kioni led Brothers in scoring with his 8 and was backed up by Paka and Kim King, who tallied 7 and 4, respectively. Anthony Borja had 6 points on a losing effort for Busta.
Busta’s loss to Brothers came after the former edged Typhoons 2, 21-19. Julian Santos and Fritz San Nicolas made 6 points apiece in the close win, while Anthony Borja and Joseph Santos posted 5 and 4, respectively. Eron Borja scored 9 for the winless Typhoons 2.
In other preliminary results, Typhoons drew first blood in the competition after outclassing Alpha Males, 21-16. Earl Borja top-scored for Typhoons with is 6 points, while Cepeda and Joey Patrick San Nicolas earned 6 points each for Alpha Males.
Alpha Males then recovered quickly as it outlasted Team Big in the third game in Pool A, 11-10. Cepeda, San Nicolas, and Kwon had 3 points apiece in their first win, while Borja added a pair of baskets. Theilen Johanes led Team Big with his 6 points.
Team Big was winless in the competition, as it fell to the Typhoons, 14-21, in the penultimate match in the elimination round. Borja scored in twin digits for Typhoons with his 10 points, Lizama had 5, and King and Sablan contributed 3 apiece. John Sablan recorded 5 points for Team Big.
Meanwhile, Alpha Males will compete against the Ol’Aces, Almost, Paki 3, and Nik Nak in the men’s open division final round of the 3×3 Hoopfest Marianas 2017. The five squads will be joined by the champion in the Rota tournament, which will be held on Sept. 22 and 23. The final leg is set for Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 with the winners in the men’s and women’s divisions getting a chance to represent the CNMI to the 2017 Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu this December.