Last year’s finalists Kanoa Resort and Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan strengthened their hold to the Top 2 spots in the team standings after beating separate opponents in the 2017 Tan Holdings Inter-Company Basketball League last Friday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.
Fiesta played in the curtain-raiser last weekend and cruised past POI Aviation, 69-55, while defending champion Kanoa topped Saipan Tribune in the nightcap, 67-58. Shirley’s Coffee Shop joined Fiesta and Kanoa in the winners’ circle after prevailing over Lower Base in the second match, 75-69. Fiesta is undefeated in seven games to remain in first place, while Kanoa is at close second with its 6-1 record and was followed by Saipan Tribune (3-4), POI (3-4), Shirley’s (2-5), and Lower Base (0-7).
Elmer Esdrelon and Fradel Sedillo helped Fiesta extend its winning streak as they combined for nearly half of their squad’s total output.
Esdrelon scored a game-high 24 points, while Sedillo chipped in 8. Fiesta’s team captain heated up early, dropping 18 in the first 20 minutes of play and knocking in four triples to lift the pacesetter to a double-digit advantage after the first half, 39-26. Sedillo then picked up up where Esdrelon left off, firing 12 in the second half to complete Fiesta’s domination of POI.
In the second game, Shirley’s also leaned on two of its players to beat Lower Base. Duncan Laxa and John Jugos teamed up for Shirley’s with the former registering 28 points and the latter contributing 23.
Laxa delivered 11 straight points for Shirley’s in the first half and finished that period with 15 to keep Lower Base within striking distance, as the latter led by only four at the break, 31-35.
Lower Base took the driver’s seat in the first half behind the combined 26 points of Elie Kenty and Ariel Jinang. Jinang’s guns were still blazing in the second half, but Kenty went cold and was held to two field goals, while Laxa found an ally in Jugos to put Shirley’s on top and steal the win.
In the third game, Douglas Schmidt anchored Kanoa’s offense as expected after posting 23 points. He buried crucial triples in the second half and drew enough help from his teammates to foil Saipan Tribune’s repeated comeback bids.
Fiesta Resort 69 — Esdrelon 24, Sedillo 18, Nonato 8, Arreza 6, Quizon 6, Villamena 4, Demafelix 3.
POI Aviation 55 — Santos 15, Nakashima 14, Deleon Guerrero 8, Kaipat 6, Arago 4, Kim 2, Mendiola 2.
Scoring by halves: 39-26, 69-55.
Shirley’s 75 — Laxa 28, Jugos 23, Guiab 8, Alonzo 8, Palma 5, Drilon 2.
Lower Base 69 — Jinang 27, Kenty 17, W. Benavente 9, J. Benavente 3, Alegre 2, Echavez 2.
Scoring by halves: 31-35, 75-69.
Kanoa Resort 67 — Schmidt 23, Encarnacion 12, Pablo 11, Sison 7, Bustillo 6, Francisco 4, Lumauag 2.
Saipan Tribune 58 — Galarion 25, De La Torre 13, Calayag 7, Calibo 6, M. Ong 4, Rabago 2.
Scoring by halves: 32-24, 67-58.