Blue Haus, Chang Ming arrange finals tiff


Blue Haus’ Marlon De Dios goes for a layup against NAPA Auto Parts in the open division semifinals of the Legends Sports Association Invitational Basketball League last Sunday at the Koblerville Basketball Court.(MARK RABAGO )

The Top 2 seeds in the open division will duke it out in the winner-take-all finals of the Legends Sports Association Invitational Basketball League.

This, after No. 1 Blue Haus and No. 2 Chang Ming Market disposed of separate opponents last Sunday at the Koblerville Basketball Court.

Blue Haus toyed with their food before outplaying NAPA Auto Parts in the endgame, 84-73, in the first game.

After opening with a 20-15 lead in the first quarter, Blue Haus let complacency set in and allowed NAPA Auto Parts to run loose on offense.

With 3-point specialists James Abuy and Preston Basa doing their thing, NAPA Auto Parts turned the tables against the elimination round topnotchers and took a surprising 44-37 advantage at the half.

Forward Douglas “Spider” Schmidt and center Marlon De Dios came alive in the third to bring order back to Blue Haus’ offense while the rest of their teammates clamped down on Basa and Abuy. As a result Blue Haus was able to take back the lead, 57- 56, heading into the fourth and final quarter.

Chang Ming Market’s Don Brennan drives to the basket against JTM Saipan in the open division semifinals of the Legends Sports Association Invitational Basketball League last Sunday at the Koblerville Basketball Court. (MARK RABAGO)

The game remained a tight one with NAPA Auto Parts managing to grab a 66-65 lead thanks to back-to-back hits from rainbow territory by Basa.

But Blue Haus wouldn’t be denied as two straight fastbreak layups and a short stab by center Kelvin Fitial gave them a 71-66 lead with 4:32 left in the ballgame.

Elmer Esdrelon and Schmidt then made back-to-back triples of their own as Blue Haus’ lead swelled to 77-66 at the 3:23 mark before Basa stopped the bleeding with a 3 of his own time down to 2:12.

Alkem Ege would cut down their deficit to 79-74 on a triple at the 1:33 mark, but Ivan De Vero and Dedios would finish the game with a 6-0 windup to preserve the victory.

Schmidt paced Blue Haus with 23 points, while De Dios had a big game with 19 points. De Vero also added 12 markers for good measure.

Basa and Abuy were the 1-2 scorers for NAPA Auto Parts with 26 and 25 points, respectively. 

In the second game, Chang Ming Market was also in a dogfight against JTM Saipan before pulling away at crunchtime, 88-70.
Chang Ming Market had JTM Saipan in the rear-view mirror all game long, but had to work overtime in the payoff period as the latter gave them the business.

Mark Ferrer led Chang Ming Market with 23 points, while Don Brennan had 17 points. 

Joseph Torres fired 23 points in the loss for JTM Saipan, which also got 13 from Ryan Bayna.

The open division finals pitting Blue Haus against Chang Ming Market will be played this Sunday starting 2pm. It will be followed by the masters division championship between JSN Construction and Blue Haus at 3:30pm.

First Game
Blue Haus 83 – Schmidt 23, De Dios 19, De Vero 12, Esdrelon 7, Talania 6, Lauron The 6, Fitial 5, N. Mateo 2, Barrios 2.
NAPA Auto Parts 74 – Basa 26, Abuy 25, Ege 9, Escano 6, De Guzman 4, Diaz 4, Fundador 2.
Scoring by quarters: 20-15, 37-44, 57-56, 83-74.

Second Game
Chang Ming Market 88 – Ferrer 23, Brennan 17, Almario 14, Palacios 12, Jandoc 6, Quan 6, Directo 3, Camacho 3, Gontar 2, Standish 2.
JTM Saipan 70 – Torres 23, Bayna 13, Jone. Broncano 10, Romo 9, Rodriguez 7, Garcia 3, Demonteverde 2, Ruiz 2, Jona. Broncano 2.
Scoring by quarters: 23-16, 41-35, 56-53, 88-70.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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