Green Archers, Vendetta stun opponents

The Green Archers’ Danny Danipog, left, and Spigen’s Ferdie Tobias, center, battle for the rebound, while the latter’s teammate Adrian Flores stays close in the play during the fourth quarter of their game in the IT&E-sponsored Ali’i Blue Haus caging last Wednesday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Upset was the theme in last Wednesday’s pair of games in the 2nd Ali’i Blue Haus Invitational Basketball at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium as the Green Archers and Vendetta defeated their higher-ranked foes.

Vendetta edged Green Minded in the first game, 75-71, while the Green Archers eked out a similar close win over Spigen in the second match, 83-79.

The cellar dwellers Green Archers held Spigen (5-5) scoreless for three minutes and change in the homestretch and went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the final minute to gain their first victory in 10 games. Danny Danipog hit 4-for-4 from the stripe, while Patrick Rotap added a pair to end the Green Archers’ losing skid.

Frank Ferrer also helped the Green Archers’ cause after scoring a game-high 21 points, including the fastbreak basket that put his team on top, 77-76, with a little over a minute left in the game. Earlier, Bruce Berline’s point-blanked shot off Adrian Flores’ feed gave Spigen its last taste of the lead, 76-75.

Spigen then failed to widen the gap, as it either turned the ball over or missed their attempts. One of those miscues—Berline failing to receive a pass from Mike Umali after Bart Demapan reached in and tapped the ball away—paved the way for a Ferrer fastbreak shot and handed the driver’s seat to the Green Archers.

Another Spigen muffed attempt returned possession to the Green Archers and Danipog capitalized off a preemptive foul from Flores by making the two charities. Now down by 3, 79-76, Spigen called its last time out in the final 14 seconds of the match. When the game resumed, Gerald Aniciete took a triple and missed badly, as the ball hit nothing but air.

Rotap picked up the ball and was quickly fouled by Ferdie Tobias. Rotap then calmly sank the pair of free throws to up their lead to 5, 81-76. A triple from Umali ended Spigen’s long silence and somehow kept the team in the game, 5 seconds left on the clock. However, Danipog knocked in two more free throws on the other end to seal it for the Green Archers.

Despite the win, the Green Archers are out of the playoffs, while Spigen’s chances to advance to the next round depends on the results of its last game and the remaining matches of Green Minded, Team Sawi (4-4), and Empe Light (3-6). Only the Top 8 teams after the elimination will earn playoff slots and four seats have been taken.

Vendetta, which got its second straight win, has been eliminated too and is just trying to play a spoiler role for teams hoping to move into the playoffs.

First Game
Vendetta 75— Pangelinan 21, Libuw 16, Tenorio 16, Castro 13, Sablan 7.
Green Minded 71 — Barrios 22, Sanros 22, Itaas 12, Omampo 9, Vergara 4.
Scoring by quarters: 16-21, 33-39, 46-52, 75-71.

Second Game
Green Archers 83 — Danipog 25, Ferrer 21, Rotap 12, Demapan 10, Enriquez 6, Mendiola 5, Pestillos 1.
Spigen 79 — Umali 16, Berline 14, Gani 11, Flores 7, Marilla 8, Tobias 6, Tibayan 6.
Scoring by quarters: 22-24, 37-48, 60-63, 83-79.

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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