GSM Lady Ol’Aces unbeaten


The GSM Lady Ol’Aces’ Eleina Santos, left, takes off for an open layup as sister Ana Lei shields her from a Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan defender during the first half of their game in the 2017 TanHoldings Christmas Basketball Tournament last Monday night at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The GSM Lady Ol’Aces finished the elimination round undefeated following a 61-22 rout of Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan in their game in the 2017 TanHoldings Christmas Basketball Tournament last Monday night at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.

GSM wrapped up the double-round robin elimination with an impressive 10-0 record, while Fiesta ended up with a 7-3 mark to place second behind the unbeaten team. Both GSM and Fiesta are playing in the playoffs this Saturday and will be paired against No. 4 Marianas Variety and No. 3 CTSI, respectively.

CTSI earned a 6-4 mark going into the playoff round after a similar easy win over Shirley’s Coffee Shop (0-10), 51-22, while Marianas Variety posted a 5-5 slate following a nail-biting 49-48 victory over IT&E (2-8).

The battle of the Top 2 teams in the girls division was one-sided, as GSM’s firepower proved to be too much for Fiesta Resort. GSM was ahead by only 5 midway through the first half, 10-5, before it pounded Fiesta Resort with a backbreaking 16-1 scoring surge. Alliyah Fernandez anchored GSM’s breakaway, drilling 8 points when she reported back for duty after getting a brief breather in the first half. Fernandez earlier knocked in two straight baskets to start things out for GSM. Siblings Anna Lei and Eleina Santos and Cassandra Camacho also hit baskets in the GSM’s run for their commanding 26-6 halftime edge.

While scoring was not a problem for GSM, it was for Fiesta Resort, as the latter was held scoreless for nearly eight minutes and made only a free throw, courtesy of a split from Britanny Wally. Fiesta Resort never recovered from thereon, as it failed to find players that could counter GSM’s shooting and relied heavily on Irish Pagarao. Pagarao was the lone Fiesta Resort player to score more than a field goal in the blowout loss to GSM.

GSM, on the other hand, drew double figures from three players. Fernandez had a game-high 15 points, while Cassandra Camacho and Eleina Santos chipped in 11 and 10, respectively.

Meanwhile, Quina Flores made a shot just a few meters away from the halfcourt line in the dying seconds of the game to lift Marianas Variety to the close victory.

The basket was Flores’ only field goal in the second half after she registered Marianas Variety’s first 2 points and added a pair of free throws early in the first frame.

Louisa Han and Tawnie Manibusan also helped Marianas Variety’s cause, as their baskets in the homestretch kept the team in the game. Han made 6 points in the second half, while Manibusan posted 8 straight markers in the homestretch for a total of 13 points. Mikky Kautz added 12 points in Marianas Variety’s tough win, while Jeraldine Castillo led IT&E with her 11.

In other results, CTSI built a 27-11 halftime advantage over Shirley’s Coffee Shop and never relinquished its big lead to get win No. 6.

Chanel Espinosa top-scored for CTSI with her 12 points.

Second Game
CTSI 51— Espinosa 12, M. Alegre 11, J. Alegre 11, Watanabe 4, Echavez 2, Pablo 2, Sabino 2.
Shirley’s 22 — Santos 7, Surima 6, Phan 4, Lumbad 3, Manacop 2.
Scoring by halves: 27-11, 51-22.

Third Game
Marianas Variety 49 — Manibusan 13, Kautz 12, Han 8, Villagomez 8, Flores 7, Chinen 2.
IT&E 48 — Jeraldine Castillo 11, Pena 10, Lumabi 10, Garon 10, Hemley 3, Olivos 2, Jerlyn Castillo 2.
Scoring by quarters: 14-18, 49-48.

Fourth Game
GSM 61 — Fernandez 15, C. Camacho 11, E. Santos 10, Deleon Guerrero 6, Pangelinan 6, Kenty 4, An. Santos 3, S. Camacho 2, King 2, D. Camacho 2.
Fiesta Resort 22 — Pagarao 14, Wally 4, Millare 2, Tuazon 1, Borja 1.
Scoring by halves: 26-6, 61-22.

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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