Caravan’s downs AK third


Caravan’s Melvin Villarin, right, takes off for a point-blank shot against AK Toyota’s Kelvin Fitial during their game in the 2019 Atkins Kroll Marianas International Basketball League last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Caravan’s moved up to solo third place in the team standings in the 2019 Atkins Kroll Marianas International Basketball League following an 87-68 win over AK Toyota last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

Caravan’s holds a 4-2 record, just close behind No. 2 IT&E (4-2) and Saipan Vegas (6-0), while AK dropped to a 2-4 slate for a tie for ninth to eighth place with Aqua Resort Club.

AK Toyota was doomed from the start, as it was held to two field goals in the first period, allowing Caravan’s to build a commanding 26-4 lead. Kelvin Fitial nailed the two baskets for AK Toyota, while Ken Viray blew away their opponents after firing 17 points. Four other Caravan’s players scored in the opening canto for the team’s 22-point advantage.

Viray then slowed down a bit in the second period, making only 6 points, while AK Toyota picked up its scoring to cut the deficit to 12 at halftime 29-41. Fitial and Jorge De Guzman tried to rally AK Toyota back into the game and had some success with the latter delivering 13 points and the former adding 8.

However, with only Fitial and De Guzman consistently making baskets in the second half, AK Toyota failed to overhaul the deficit in the second half, absorbing its fourth loss in six games and putting its playoff chances in danger. Only the Top 4 teams in the 10-squad league will advance to the playoffs after the round-robin regular season

Caravan’s, on the other hand, kept its safe lead in the second half with Viray regaining his touch in the third period and Alex Standish stepping up in the fourth despite being saddled by foul trouble.

Viray led all scorers with his 32 points, while Standish logged 20, including 11 in the final frame. Prince Factor also finished in twin digits with his 15 points. Fitial had 29 for AK Toyota, while De Guzman added 21.

With Caravan moving to third, the team is still in good position to make it to the next round.

Caravan’s 87—Viray 32, Standish 20, Factor 15, Andrew 8, Quan 6, Sablan 4, Younis 2.
AK Toyota 68—Fitial 29, De Guzman 21, Guilas 8, Lauron 6, Castillo 2.
Scoring by quarters: 26-4, 41-29, 63-52, 87-68

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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