Blue Eagle soars to fourth win


Blue Eagle’s Bart Demapan unloads an open layup during an earlier game against Saipan Vegas in the Open Division of the United Filipino Organization IT&E 2019 Basketball League at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

The Blue Eagle kept its perfect record in the Open Division of the United Filipino Organization IT&E 2019 Basketball League following an 89-78 victory over Shirley’s Coffee Shop last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

Douglas Schmidt scored 26 points in the victory—which was the Blue Eagle’s fourth in as many games. Shirley’s absorbed its third loss after four matches.

The Blue Eagle jumped to a 24-7 lead in the first quarter and though Shirley’s threatened to comeback in the second period behind Matt Duenas’ hot hands, Schmidt and company hung on to keep their record clean.

Three other Blue Eagle players finished in twin digits in the victory with Manolo Manalo and Jaymark De Guzman adding 12 points each and Ron Esmores contributing 11. Esmores made 9 of his total points in the first period, while Schmidt chipped in 8 for their 17-point lead after 10 minutes of play.

Schmidt then drilled 10 markers in the second period to help the Blue Eagle survive the 17-point explosion of Duenas in that quarter, which wrapped up with the eventual winning team still up by double figures, 47-37.

The Blue Eagle went on to maintain its safe distance over Shirley’s in the second half with Demapan and Manalo stepping up and Darwin Barbo and Edwin Santos also hitting a couple of baskets. Barbo and Santos had 6 points apiece in the second half.

Duenas, after a strong showing in the second period, went cold at the start of the second half, as he was limited to one field goal in the third period. He then scored 9 in the final quarter, but lacked support, as Shirley’s played against the Blue Eagle with a depleted roster.

Meanwhile, Old Iskool got win No. 3 out of four matches after downing the winless Saipan Vegas, 85-79, in the Masters Division.

Old Iskool also leaned on a good start to gain enough cushion and thwart Saipan Vegas’ repeated comeback bids.

Old Iskool built a 23-8 advantage after the opening quarter with Jorge De Guzman scoring 6 points and Bryan Manabat and Bernard Montano adding 4 apiece.

Saipan Vegas cut the deficit to 5 at the break, 28-33, behind the 11 points of Celio Bisana in the second period. However, Ed Pangelinan brought the lead back to double figures in the third period, 61-46, after making 14 markers in that frame.

The 15-point lead after three quarters was enough for Old Iskool to withstand Saipan Vegas’ rally in the final canto.

Open Division
Blue Eagle 89—Schmidt 26, Manalo 12, De Guzman 12, Esmores 11, Barbo 8, Santos 8, Talania 2, Arcon 2, Sienna 2.
Shirley’s 78—Duenas 29, Jugos 15, Lifoifoi 12, Sablan 11, Aranda 6.
Scoring by quarters: 24-7, 47-37, 70-57, 89-78.

Masters Division
Old Iskool 85—Pangelinan 20, De Guzman 12, Cosino 9, Montano 8, Abuy 7, Camacho 7, Pablo 7, Manabat 4, Bartolo 2, Borja 2.
Saipan Vegas 79—Bisana 23, Usi 14, Park 8, Moises 7, Cortez 7, Maplas 5, Backe 4, Guo 2, Barreto 2.
Scoring by quarters: 23-8, 33-25, 61-46, 85-79.

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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