Early run leads Black Mamba, Empe Light to victory


Black Mamba’s Alex Lauron, third left, battles Spigen’s Bruce Berline, second left, and Robert Sanciangco, right, for the rebound, while the latter’s teammate Adrian Flores looks on during the second quarter of their game in the 2nd Ali’i Blue Haus caging last Wednesday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Black Mamba and Empe Light Blue banked on their strong starts to outclass their respective opponents in the 2nd Ali’i Blue Haus Invitational Basketball League last Wednesday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.

Empe Light topped the Green Archers in the curtain-raiser, 98-88, while Black Mamba downed Spigen in the second match, 74-65.

Black Mamba outgunned Spigen in the first six minutes of play, 14-2, and never looked back, leading by as much as 23 (31-8) in the second quarter en route to its second victory in as many games. Alex Lauron and Mel Capalad joined forces in Black Mamba’s early attack, as they scored 6 points apiece after the first quarter, which ended with their team on top by 15, 19-4.

Spigen fell behind early, as only Mike Umali hit the board for their squad, which was held to one field goal in the opening 10 minutes of the match. Spigen’s struggle on offense continued in the second canto, as it did not broke into double figures until the last four minutes and change of the first half. With Spigen still looking for its rhythm, Black Mamba managed to stretch its lead to 21 at the break, 41-20.

Black Mamba went on to keep its double-digit advantage in the third period, as Spigen failed to contain Lauron and Capalad. Black Mamba ended the penultimate frame comfortably ahead, 61-41, allowing the team to let its guard down a bit in the fourth and giving Spigen an opportunity to cut the deficit to a decent margin.

Lauron top-scored for Black Mamba with his 21 points, while Capalad chipped in 18. Adrian Flores led Spigen’s losing cause with his 18 markers.

In the first game, Empe Light entered the win column after a 0-2 start as it outgunned the Green Archers early.

Empe Light built a 28-18 lead after the first quarter and sustained its strong start to hand the Green Archers its third loss in as many games.

Shooting guard Sean Rabastos fired 10 points in the opening canto to give Empe Light a double-digit advantage. He kept hitting his target in the last three periods to finish with a team-high 30 points.

First Game
Empe Light Blue 98 — Rabasto 30, Tengco 16, Gunnacao 15, Gallardo 12, Reyes 11, Leung 6, Peredo 4, Espinosa 4.
Green Archers 88 — Demapan 32, Ferrer 25, Danipog 11, Rotap 5, Yarofalir 4, Enriquez 4, Arreza 2, Tolentino 2.
Scoring by quarters: 28-18, 45-33, 71-53, 98-88.

Second Game
Black Mamba 74 — Lauron 21, Capalad 18, Ybanez 11, Gabaldon 9, Brien 7, Lansang 5, Salazar 3.
Spigen 65 — Flores 18, Umali 15, Sanciangco 12, Tobias 6, Cortez 6, Aniciete 2, Berline 2, Tibayan 2, Marilla 2.
Scoring by quarters: 19-4, 41-20, 61-41, 74-65.

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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