GCA, Agape win openers


Grace Christian Academy’s Ryan Daproza slips past Saipan Community School defenders for an open layup during their opening game in the middle school division of the CCOPSA caging yesterday at the GCA court in Navy Hill. (Roby N. Pamintuan)

Grace Christian Academy and Agape Christian School triumphed in their season debuts in the 2018-2019 Commonwealth Coalition of Private Schools Association Middle School Basketball League yesterday.

The Eagles routed Saipan Community School, 40-20, at their home court in Navy Hill, while host Agape also crushed Saipan International School, 70-20.

GCA led right from the get-go and broke away in the third quarter to double-up the Tsunamis.

Ahead by only 6 at the break, 14-8, the Eagles exploded for 18 points in the penultimate frame to open a 32-11 advantage. GCA pulled away behind Ryan Daproza and Lance Lerio’s hot hands, as they logged 8 and 6 markers, respectively. The Eagles also turned it up on the defensive end, as they contained the Tsunamis to just one field goal.

The Eagles went on to keep their double-digit spread in the fourth quarter despite resting their starters in that period. SCS made up for its 3-point output in the third frame by getting all its 9 markers from Charlie McDonald.

Earlier in the first canto, Daproza scored 7 points, while his fellow team captain, Lerio, knocked in two free throws in GCA’s 9-3 advantage. Miles Borja nailed SCS’ lone basket in the opening canto and his triple was countered by Daproza’s conversion from beyond the arc.

Daproza was then silent in the second period, leaving Lerio to shoulder the Eagles’ offense, as the latter scored all of GCA’s 5 points. Borja and Miles Timmons combined for the 5 markers of SCS, as the Tsunamis still found themselves behind at the break and fell on an even deeper hole when the game resumed, allowing GCA to walk away with a 20-point winning margin.

Meanwhile, Agape was also off to a strong start as proven in their lopsided victory over SIS.

Four Agape players finished in double figures with Eason Tang and Jordan Miao scoring 14 apiece and David Zheng and Antonio Li adding 12 and 11 markers, respectively. Danny Lee led the way for the Geckos with his 10 points.

Good debut for NMIS
Northern Marianas International School competes in the private school league for the first time and started on the right foot after defeating Seventh Day Adventist School, 22-16, at the latter’s court in Chalan Kiya.

Eddie Valdoz led the way for the Phoenix after firing 14 points, while J.P. Pineda added 4 markers. Kaito Rechucher top-scored for SDA with his 6 points.

Games in the middle school division will continue today with Agape hosting a double-header (boys and girls) against GCA. Over at the Koblerville Gymnasium, Mt. Carmel School’s girls and boys squads will be locking horns with SDA. Then at the SIS court in As Lito, the Geckos will be taking on the Phoenix.

GCA 40—Daproza 15, Lerio 13, Alepuyo 4, Castro 2, Ja. Du 2, Ju. Du 2, Yumul 2.
SCS 20—McDonald 12, Borja 6, Timmons 2.
Scoring by quarters: 9-3, 14-8, 32-11, 40-20.

Roby N. Pamintuan

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