Black Mamba recovers, slips past Ridhors


Black Mamba’s Marlo Ibanez pulls up for a crucial jumper in front of Tropang Ridhors’ Junar Guiab during the closing minutes of their game in the IT&E-sponsored Ali’i Blue Haus caging last Wednesday night at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Black Mamba is back on track after surviving Tropang Ridhors, 83-80, in the second game in the 2nd Ali’i Blue Haus Invitational Basketball League last Wednesday night at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.

Marlo Ibanez scored five straight points, including a lean-in jumper to beat the 24-second shot clock, while White Capalad hit two free throws to lift Black Mamba (4-2) to the close win and end the squad’s two-game slide.

Ibanez’s triple gave Black Mamba its biggest lead, 79-74, with a little over a minute left in the game, but Ridhors answered with 4 quick points off Mike Surima and John Paul Morales’ baskets to cut the deficit to one, 78-79. Alex Lauron tried to counter in the ensuing play, but missed the left baseline jumper. Fortunately, Yosh Gabaldon grabbed the rebound and Black Mamba worked the clock a little bit before Ibanez pulled up for an 8-footer in front of Ridhors’s Junar Guiab for more cushion, 81-78, 33 ticks to go in the match.

Ridhors sued for time, but failed to hit a shot when the game resumed and later fouled Capalad to stop the clock, which read at 17 seconds. Capalad calmly sank the pair of charities to increase their lead, 83-78. However, Ridhors refused to give up and stayed in the game when Surima also went 2-for-2 from the stripe off a foul from Lauron in the ensuing play.

Down by just 3, Ridhors then gambled on fouling Chris Lansang in the last five seconds of the match and the gambit paid off when he missed both free throws. Ridhors gunner Ken Viray got the rebound, but was well covered by Black Mamba defenders and could not take the shot, so he passed the ball to Morales, who pulled up for a triple and missed badly. The ball hitting nothing but air and rolled out to the baseline, sealing the doom for Ridhors as the clock was down to 0.6 of a second and Black Mamba had possession.

Ridhors, which led at the end of each of the first three quarters and was even on top by 10 at the break, 50-40, absorbed its second straight loss after a 5-0 start.

Meanwhile, Green Minded (4-3) added to the Green Archers’ woes after posting a 96-86 win in the first game. The Green Archers are winless in eight games.

First Game
Green Minded 96 —Devero 31, Itaas 19, Barrios 13, Santos 12, Armia 8, Tibayan 6, Dela Cruz 4, Vergara 3.
Green Archers 86 — Rotap 21, Tolentino 16, Demapan 14, Ferrer 11, Mendiola 8, Baterina 8, Pestillos 2.
Scoring by quarters: 18-19, 35-38, 63-60, 96-86.

Second Game
Black Mamba 83 — Lauron 25, Capalad 14, Lansang 14, Ibanez 11, Gabaldon 7, Odicta 6, William 3, Brien 2, Salazar 1.
Tropang Ridhors 80 — Viray 24, Morales 19, Yoshisawa 12, Surima 8, Guiab 6, Fernandez 6, Acosta 3, Claveria 2.
Scoring by quarters: 20-24, 40-50, 62-65, 83-80.

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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