Blue Haus over Changming in battle of unbeatens

Posted on Dec 08 2022

Blue Haus center Kelvin Fitial muscles his way to the basket against Changing Market’s Pai Villacuris and Alex Standish during their open division game in the Legends Sports Association Invitational Basketball League last Sunday at the Koblerville Basketball Court.(MARK RABAGO)

Blue Haus withstood a furious rally to turn back Changming Store, 67-64, to win the battle of unblemished teams in the open division of the Legends Sports Association Invitational Basketball League last Sunday at the Koblerville Basketball Court.

Center Kelvin Fitial was fouled with 6.1 seconds left and made his first free throw to give Blue Haus a 3-point lead. 

The 6’3” center then inexplicably rebounded his own miss and Blue Haus held on to the ball as time expired.

Blue Haus led after the opening quarter, 19-13, but literally was a house on fire in the second and led by as much as 20 points before settling for a 42-26 advantage at the break.

Changming Store, however, little by little chipped into Blue Haus’ lead at the start of the third and, lo and behold, were just down by 10 points, 59-49, heading into the fourth and final quarter.

Blue Haus still managed to fend off Changming Store’s advances in the fourth until national player Douglas Schmidt fouled out with 5:57 left in the contest.

A series of 3-pointers by Mark Ferrer and B.J. Palacios whittled down the lead to just 1 point when the latter’s splash down from the land of plenty made it 64-63 with time down to 1:21.

Good thing hulking MMA fighter Fitital came to the rescue and scored on a putback in the next possession for Blue Haus.

After Changming Store’s Marvin Rabauliman split his charities to make it 66-64 and a defensive stop by his team gave them back possession, Palacios fumbled the ball with 17 seconds left.

Fitial was then fouled by Alex Standish that set up the final crucial sequence of the ballgame.

Despite going to the showers early, Schmidt still led Blue Haus’ charge with 18 points, while Fitial added 12 for the only remaining undefeated team in the open division at 4-0. 

Changming Store, which fell to 3-1, was led by Ferrer’s 18 points, while center Juan Camacho had 14.

In other results in the open division, Marianas Health Services (1-3) finally barged into the win column with a 69-63 win over Padrinos Tuesday Club (2-2); NAPA Auto Parts (3-1) kept Pepoy’s Rest Cafe (0-4) winless with a 95-76 drubbing; Vizion Insurance (2-2) leveled its card with an 88-75 victory over Al-Ger Manpower (0-4), and JTM Saipan (3-1) edged Pacific Best Choice (2-2), 78-71.

In the masters, JSN Construction rolled to its fourth straight win against no loss by thumping Legends Elite, 121-71. Blue Haus also improved to 3-1 after escaping Vizion Insurance, 97-93.

Blue Haus 67 – Schmidt 18, Fitial 12, Talania 10, Lauron 7, Esdrelon 5, Devero 6, Barrios 3, Castro 2, D. Mateo 2, Altoge 2.

Changming Store 64 – Ferrer 18, Camacho 14, Almario 7, Quan 6, Rabauliman 4, Palacios 3, Directo 3.
Scoring by quarters: 19-13, 42-26, 59-49, 67-64.

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

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