Freddie Pelisamen led the close victory, exploding for 54 points, including seven of Ghasias Brothers’ last 14 points in the final 7:41 of the game first played last Friday, but was rained-out with the match tied at 65-all.
When the game resumed, the Bandits went on a 7-0 run, to boost its semis bid, but Pelisamen came to Ghasias Brothers’ rescue, while Mike Olaitiman, Randy Pelisamen, and Ben Pelisamen canned one field goal apiece to help their team survive the rubber match. Ben Pelisamen drilled a triple to give Ghasias Brothers’ its last basket and the lead and the Bandits failed to counter and steal the win when McLain Achas muffed two free throws in the closing seconds of the match. With the victory, Ghasias Brothers will play top-ranked and defending champion Ali’i in the second semifinals game tonight. Flip Top and SSFM dueled in the first semis match last Saturday and results of the game will be reported in Saipan Tribune’s Tuesday edition. The semis round has a round-robin format with the Top 2 teams advancing to the finals.
The Ghasias Brothers-Bandits showdown for the fourth and last semis seat was a seesaw battle with the former moving ahead after the first period, 27-18. As expected, Freddie Pelisamen anchored Ghasias Brothers’ attack in the opening canto, as he dropped 17 points. He traded baskets with Edmark Mendoza, who kept the Bandits in the game in the first frame, scoring 10 points.
Mendoza kept his hot shooting in the second quarter and drew enough support from his teammates, as the Bandits fought back to steal the upper hand at the break, 46-42. Pelisamen also remained on target making all but two of Ghasias Brothers’ points, but the Bandits nearly doubled its foe’s output in the second canto, 28-15, to grab the driver’ seat, entering the third.
In the third period, Mendoza was held to two field goals, but Bryle Alegre stepped in with his seven markers, helping the Bandits keep the lead, 63-57, after 30 minutes of play. A quick 8-2 start from Ghasias Brothers in the first two minutes and change of the fourth forced a standoff before rain halted play with the Bandits having the possession. It rained for several minutes, forcing organizers to reschedule the game the following day.
In last Saturday’s continuation, the Bandits drew baskets from four different players to move Ghasias Brothers on the brink of elimination before Freddie Pelisamen took matters into his own hands and sent the Bandits packing.
Ghasias Brothers 79 – F. Pelisamen 54, Acosta 8, Olaitiman 5, R. Pelisamen 4, B. Pelisan 3, J. Pelisamen 2.
Bandits 78 – Mendoza 33, Alegre 12, Fernando 12, Achas 8, De Guzman 7, Odicta 3.
Scoring by quarters: 27-18, 42-46, 57-63, 79-78.