Even before the NMI Rollers Basketball Association’s Inaugural NMI Rollers Men’s Basketball Tournament started, the veteran-laden crew of Blue Haus was already defensive about the ages of their key players.
So, it was kind of poetic that it took a tough defensive stance in the second half that allowed them to overcome an 11-point halftime deficit to cruise past Marianas Dental, 47-37, in the second of the scheduled five-game set last Sunday at the Koblerville Gymnasium.
Marianas Dental gave Blue Haus all it could handle in the first half, as their shooters were getting wide-open shots from the land of plenty. With Joseph Torres, Michael Estores, and Bry Natividad each connecting from downtown and center Jeo Daneel getting all the important rebounds, Pacific Dental was able to open up a 29-18 lead before the halftime break.
Blue Haus’ halftime huddle was serious as they tried to map out a way to stop Pacific Dental dead in their tracks. That’s when they hatched their pressure defense against the unsuspecting young crew of their opponents that led to either turnovers or forced low percentage shots.
With their improved defense, Blue Haus was now able to run out for easy fastbreak points and little by little the team got back into the game. It eventually grabbed its first lead when swingman Errol Peredo’s acrobatic layup made it 36-35 with 10:41 left in the game.
The defensive clamps will only become tighter after that as Marianas Dental Dental only managed to score 3 more points, while allowing Blue Haus to frolic on offense that led to the latter’s runway victory.
Ryan Byna and center Darwin Barbo led Blue Haus with 12 points apiece, while Peredo added 11 more. Daneel paced Marianas Dental in the loss with 11, while Torres chipped in 7 markers. It was the second straight win for Blue Haus, while Marianas Dental absorbed its first loss.
In the first game, Christian Itaas fired 17 points to lead Sixers to its second straight win following a 60-46 victory over OG Rollers. After a 31-31 tie at halftime, Itaas combined with Don Brennan to bring down the OG Rollers. Frankie Satur and Eman Feria led the now 1-1 OG Rollers in scoring with 9 and 8 points, respectively.
In the third game, The Game notched its second win in as many contests after slamming Ol’Aces 67-59. Erik Joe and Jeff Sagum showed the way for The Game with 28 and 18 points, respectively. High-flyer Coby Santos fired a tourney high 30 points for debuting O’Aces, which also got 18 markers from Preston Basa.
Socho registered its first win of the competition following a 53-27 shellacking of Lakay in the fourth game. The team totally flipped the script after a first half that saw them trailing by a point, 13-14. Mustafa Augustino was the high-point man for Socho with 12 points, while veteran Mel Capalad paced Lakay (0-2) in the loss with 8 points.
In the final game of the evening, Jacob’s Bakeshop also won its first game following a 52-49 upset of Rollers (0-1). Like the previous game, the eventual winning team trailed in the first half before playing better in the second to notch the victory. The 17 points of Kitz Santos led the team to victory, while Matt Richardson’s game-high 18 points led Rollers.
Sixers 60 – Itaas 17, Brennan 11, Andrew 8, De Guzman 8, Fidelino 6, Aranda 6, Lajara 2, Flores 2.
OG Rollers 46 – Satur 9, Feria 8, Danas 7, Garcia 6, Naraja 5, Ilo 5, Aldan 4, Factor 3.
Scoring by quarters: 31-31, 60-46.
Blue Haus 47 – Byna 12, Barbo 12, Peredo 11, De Dios 4, Devero 4, Tatlonghari 3, Esdrelon 1.
Marianas Dental 37 – Daneel 11, Torres 7, Darag 6, Gant 5, Estores 3, Natividad 3, Ferrer 2,
Scoring by halves: 18-29, 47-38.
The Game 67 – Joe 28, Sagum 18, Blake 8, Sablan 5, Deleon Guerrero 4, Dayao 3.
Ol’Aces 59 – Santos 30, Basa 14, Libuw 6, Kabiriel 2, Atan 2, Diaz 2, Schmidt 1.
Scoring by halves: 31-26, 67-59.
Socho 53 – Augustino 12, Aguon 7, Malwelbug 7, Q. Faisao 7, Sharry 5, Iguel 3, Irog 2, D. Faisao 2, Nekaifes 2.
Lakay 27 – Capalad 8, Mackenzie 6, Isip 6, Doda 3, Mendoza 2, Lumauag 2, Narciso 2.
Scoring by halves: 13-14, 47-29.
Jacob’s Bakeshop 52 – Santos 17, Kintz 11, Isaac 9, Ong 6, Moises 3, Cole 3, Gaviola 2, Camacho 1.
Rollers 49 – Richardson 18, Dela Cruz 11, Villarin 7, Cruz 3, Deleon Guerrero 3, Sumor 3, Dalmes 2, King 2.
Scoring by halves: 20-26, 52-49.