Black Panther survives Ol’Aces

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The Black Panther’s Jeff Riman, goes up for a spike during their semis game against The As’ Guardians in the Avengers Volleyball League last Wednesday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. The Black Panther won and also defeated the Ol’Aces in the finals last Friday. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

The Black Panther ruled the Avengers Volleyball League after withstanding the Ol’Aces’ gallant stand in the championship round last Friday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

The Black Panther was able to prevail after the long, arduous two games in the finale, taking advantage of the worn-out Ol’Aces in Game 2. The Black Panther eased its way to a 25-15 win in the first set of the deciding Game 2 and completed the sweep with a 25-14 victory in the second to finally bring down the Ol’Aces, who fought their way out of the losers bracket to challenge the former for the title, but gave up to exhaustion in the end.

Before battling the Black Panther, the Ol’Aces dueled the The As’ Guardians for the second and last finals ticket. The Ol’Aces took the first set, 25-12, and then earned the rights to face the Black Panther after laboring through a 25-18 triumph in the second.

In the finals, the Black Panther enjoyed a twice-to-beat advantage, as it was undefeated entering the title showdown. The Ol’Aces then threatened to pull the rug under the unbeaten Black Panther after stunning their favored foe in Game 1 of the finals. The Black Panther prevailed in the first set, 25-16, but the Ol’Aces did not back down and took the second, 25-20. The Ol’Aces then completed the comeback and ended the Black Panther’s steak with a 15-9 win in the deciding third set.

After the visibly tired Ol’Aces forced Game 2, the Black Panther capitalized on its winded opponent to take an early 8-1 lead in the first set. The Ol’Aces then rallied and even grabbed the lead 13-11, but the Black Panther showed poise in the end to win the opening set by 10 points with Jericho Castro closing out off a spike.

For the second set, the Black Panther also built an early lead, 15-7, and this time was never threatened, while Castro also wrapped up the game and the championship round, as the Ol’Aces failed to receive his serve.

Joining Castro on the champion squad are Jeff Riman, Riel Paynor, Jensky Rikrik, Bryan Chlarson, PJ Sandoval, Charlie A. Borja, and Cecile Guevarra.

Black Panther players pose with their trophy and medals after surviving the Ol’Aces in the finale of the 2019 Avengers Volleyball League last Friday at Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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