Armatech and IT&E capped their elimination round campaign in the 2014 Tan Holdings Basketball Classic with wins against separate foes to clinch the Top 2 spots in the women’s division contest last Saturday night at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.
Armatech played in the final match of the double-round robin elims and eked out a 42-38 victory over Sun Palace for a 10-game sweep, while IT&E downed Shirley’s Coffee Shop, 53-47, in the penultimate tiff.
Both Armatech and IT&E (7-3) will be paired against lower-seeded teams and are favored to survive the semis and arrange a winner-take-all championship showdown this weekend. Armatech will be pitted against the fourth-ranked Shirley’s (5-5) this Thursday, while IT&E will duel third finisher Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan (6-4) this Friday.
The No. 1 Armatech managed to earn a sweep despite missing key players Irish Pagarao and Jeralyn Castillo in its final match in the elimination. Chevy Kate Alipio stepped up in place of her two teammates, scoring 25 points in Armatech’s 4-point victory over Sun Palace, which ended its bid in the tournament winless in 10 games.
Armatech needed a lift from Alipio, as Sun Palace threatened an upset, keeping close with its highly favored foe. Sun Palace cling to a 16-15 lead at the break and stood toe-to-toe against Sun Palace, but failed to neutralize Alipio in the second half to miss the win column in its final attempt. Alipio dropped 15 of her total points in the second half, including 7 straight early in that period.
In the first game, IT&E also had to fight back after falling behind by as much as 9 in the first half, 10-19.
The trio of Kyla Ito, Karleen Reyes, and Jan Travilla teamed up in IT&E’s second-half attack, combining for 22 of the squad’s 27 points in the final frame. Ito nailed 13 points in the second half, while Travilla and Reyes chipped in 7 and 5, respectively.
Jeraldine Castillo led Shirley’s losing cause with her 24 points. She got help only from three of her teammates, while IT&E had 7 players making it to the board.
Meanwhile, Fiesta also ended the elimination round with a win after routing Kanoa Resort, 49-27.
Fiesta turned on the heat in the second half after holding on to a 22-19 edge at the turn. Fiesta more than tripled Kanoa’s output in the final 20 minutes of play, 27-8, to cruise to its sixth win.
Kanoa finished the elimination round with only two wins and both were recorded against Sun Palace. Kanoa missed its third win after tallying only two field goals in the second half of their game versus Fiesta. Rose Jones and Kelsey Lizama notched one field goal apiece with the latter adding four free throws to top-score for Kanoa with her 12 markers.
Fiesta 49–Pena 16, Reyes 13, Francisco 12, Demola 4, Bergosa 2, Garon 2.
Kanoa 27–Lizama 12, Iriarte 6, Agulto 5, Ngirausui 2, Jones 2.
Scoring by halves: 22-19, 49-27.
IT&E 53–Ito 19, Travilla 12, Reyes 7, Lopez 6, Willams 4, Sablan 3, Alegre 2.
Shirley’s 47–Castillo 24, Pablo 17, Vergara 4, Ito 2.
Scoring by halves: 24-26, 53-47.
Armatech 42–Alipio 25, Alferos 8, Fleming 5, Aldan 2, Palero 2.
Sun Palace 38–Lumabi 10, Abadilla 10, Tamang 6, Francisco 4, C. Avelino 2, D. Avelino 2, Castro 2, Olivos 2.
Scoring by halves: 15-16, 42-38.