Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan and 670 Sonics dispatched their respective opponents to make it to the finals of the 2016 TanHoldings Christmas Basketball Tournament last Monday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.
The Sonics were the first ones to secure a finals ticket after edging the Ol’Aces 2, 56-52, in their semis duel in the boys U16 division. In the women’s division pairing, Fiesta Resort & Spa waltzed past Sun Palace, 41-20, to move this Saturday’s title game.
Fiesta held Sun Palace to a solitary point in the first 16 minutes of the 20-minute half to set up the easy win. Sun Palace, which got its lone point from Jeralyn Castillo, picked up its scoring in late in the opening half, but still Fiesta kept its double-digit led at the break, 20-8.
Chevy Kate Alipio had 7 points for Fiesta in the first half to give her team a 12-point advantage and her steady quarterbacking job plus her teammates’ support on offense in the second half prevented Sun Palace from mounting a comeback.
Alipio went on to top-score for Fiesta with her 13 points, while Irish Pagarao, Maron Diaz, and Paulynn Grace Joyce combined for 19 markers. Jeralyn Castillo paced Sun Palace with her 14 points and clearly lacked help from her teammates as only Diane Pablo and Hannah Santos contributed to the team’s losing cause, chipping in 4 and 2 points, respectively.
With the victory, Fiesta kept its perfect record in the tournament. The first finalist swept the eliminations, winning all its seven games before ousting Sun Palace and it will go for win No. 9 this Saturday against the victor in the last semis match tonight between the second-ranked CTSI and third-seeded IT&E.
Meanwhile, the 670 Sonics are also unbeaten in the boys U16 division after knocking out the Ol’Aces 2 in their semis game. The Zach Johnson-coached squad prevailed in all seven games in the regular season to set up a Final Four collision against the fourth-ranked Ol’Aces 2.
Though highly favored against the Ol’Aces 2, the 670 Sonics had to labor for the win and the first finals berth in the division. The 670 Sonics, who were behind after the first half, 31-32, banked on Khristian Itaas’ baskets in the homestretch to thwart the persistent Ol’Aces 2.
The lefty wingman scored all of the 670 Sonics’ last 6 points and finished with a game-high 27 markers. He and Jester Kintaro provided the needed offense for the 670 Sonics with the latter also tallying twin digits with his 15 markers.
The 670 Sonics will face in the finals this Saturday the victor between the MHS-Rollers 1 tiff tonight.
Boys U16 Semis
670 Sonics 56 — Itaas 27, Kintaro 15, De Guzman 6, Sabangan 4, Ordona 3, Apasan 1.
Ol’Aces 2 52 — Ngirarois 20, Santos 11, Deleon Guerrero 8, Ichihara 8, Johnny 5.
Scoring by halves: 31-32, 56-52.
Fiesta Resort 41 — Alipio 13, Pagarao 7, Joyce 6, Diaz 6, Tuazon 4, Lee 3, Ito 2.
Sun Palace 20 — Jeralyn Castillo 14, Pablo 4, Santos 2.
Scoring by halves: 20-8, 41-20.