Green Minded survives Tropang Ridhors’ rally


Green Minded’s Edwin Santos, left, takes off for a layup, while Tropang Ridhors’ Keiji Yoshisawa looks on 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)

Green Minded showed poise in the homestretch to eke out an 80-76 victory over Tropang Ridhors in the lone match played in the 2nd Ali’i Blue Haus Invitational Basketball League last Wednesday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.

Ivan Devero knocked in clutch baskets, while Leo Itaas made important free throws to help Green Minded thwart Tropang Ridhors’ comeback bid. Devero’s pair of baskets came after Tropang Ridhors moved within five, 68-73, while Itaas’ charities sealed it for Green Minded, which improved its record to 5-3.

Tropang Ridhors dropped to a 7-4 mark, losing four of its last five games. It had to fight back in the fourth quarter after falling behind by twin digits at the end of the third, 51-62. Green Minded took the 11-point lead after drawing at least two field goals each from four players and it stretched its advantage to as much as 15 early in the fourth canto, 68-53.

However, Green Minded lost the double-digit lead as Tropang Ridhors won the exchanges in the next five minutes, 15-5. John Paul Morales anchored Tropang Ridhors’ rally, scoring 8 points, including back-to-back triples, while Keiji Yoshisawa capped the scoring spurt with a triple for his seventh point in that quarter alone.

Tropang Ridhors made the final push without Junar Guiab, who left the game after the third period. The squad was also without its top scorer Ken Viray. However, Tropang Ridhors failed to complete the come-from-behind win, as Devero stepped in to save the day for Green Minded.

Devero finished with a game-high 23 points, while Edwin Santos and J.R. Barrios also hit double figures with 17 and 14, respectively. Morales matched Devero’s output, while Yoshisawa added 20.
Only the Green Minded-Tropang Ridhors tiff was played due to the malfunctioning scoreboard at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium. The Black Mamba-Team Sawi game in the curtain-raiser will be rescheduled on a later date.

Green Minded 80 —Devero 23, Santos 17, Barrios 14, Itaas 9, Vergara 7, Armia 5, Dela Cruz 5.
Tropang Ridhors 76 — Morales 23, Yoshisawa 20, Guiab 14, Fernandez 7, Acosta 5.
Scoring by quarters: 19-16, 37-40, 62-51, 80-76.

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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