Ayuyus, Knights arrange finals duel

Mt. Carmel School’s Matthew Richardson, center, goes for an acrobatic shot against Saipan Southern High School’s Glen Matalog during their semis game in the CCOPSA caging yesterday at the Koblerville Gymnasium. (Roby N. Pamintuan)

Kagman High School and Mount Carmel School 1 set the stage for their title showdown in the boys division of the 2018-2019 Commonwealth Coalition of Private Schools Association Varsity Basketball League after prevailing in their respective semis matches yesterday at the Koblerville Gymnasium.

The first match of the double-header had the No. 2 seed MCS 1 strong-arming No. 3 Saipan Southern High School, 50-27, to move ahead to the finals.

The Knights took control of the game right from the get-go and clamped down on defense to held the Manta Rays to single-digit scoring in each of the four quarters for the big winning margin.

MCS 1 almost doubled the Manta Rays’ output in the opening canto, taking a 14-8 lead. Thanks to Keith Santos, who had 8 quick points, 4 of them were charities.

After being held to four field goals in the first period, Saipan Southern continued to struggle in the second and nearly did not make it to the board until Clarenz Contreras broke their silence with a jumper, just 20 seconds left in that frame.

The Mantas had limited scoring opportunities, as the Knights’ defense forced them to cough the ball up multiple times. Richardson converted those errors into points, while Chioni Dela Cruz, Matthew Ong, and Aven Evangelista also scored, as MCS 1 widened the gap at halftime, 25-12.

The Knights kept going when the game resumed with Angelo Factor, Santos, Johnson, and Richardson teaming up in handing their squad a 36-18 advantage, entering the final canto.

In the last quarter, Johnson tweaked his ankle and was forced to leave the game. Knights coach Francis San Nicolas then had Jun Tabora filling in Johnson’s shoes and the reserve forward stepped up, making 6 points to complete MCS’ steady offensive game.

Meanwhile, Kagman took the second finals seat after eliminating No. 3 Agape Christian School 1, 60-47.

After hanging on to a 19-16 lead in the first quarter, the Ayuyus heated up in the ensuing periods to oust the Torchbearers.

J.D. Magofna and Dean Blake led the Ayuyus with their 17 and 14 points, respectively, while Henry Aguon added 9, and Chris Sacdalan chipped in 7. Jonathan Xiong and Silas Xu shouldered the Torchbearers’ offense as the former netted 19 points and the latter logged 17.

The Ayuyus-Knights finale will be played today at 3:30pm at the Koblerville Gymnasium and will be followed by the girls division title match between MCS and Grace Christian Academy at 4:30pm.

First Game
MCS 1 50—Richarson 12, Santos 10, Evangelista 7, Tabora 6, Factor 5, Dela Cruz 4, Johnson 4, Ong 2.
SSHS 27—Ordona 8, Matalog 6, Perez 6, Villarin 4, Atalig 2, Deleon Guerrero 1.
Scoring by quarters: 14-8, 25-12, 36-18, 50-27.

Second Game
KHS 60—Magofna 17, Blake 14, Aguon 9, Sacdalan 7, Augustino 5, Quitano 4, Lifoifoi 2.
ACS 1 47—Xiong 19, Xu 17, Shao 5, Chen 2, Wang 2, Yang 2.
Scoring by quarters: 19-16, 35-26, 54-33, 60-47.

Roby N. Pamintuan Author

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