Gualo Rai throttles San Antonio in U18


Gualo Rai’s Leo Naraja attacks the basket against San Antonio’s Slymark Defang, left, and Mike Mercado Jr. in their U18 division game of the 2022 Marianas Village Pride Basketball League last Saturday at the Gillette Multi-Purpose Gymnasium in Gualo Rai. (MARK RABAGO)

Gualo Rai made an auspicious debut after routing San Antonio, 68-39, in the U18 division of the 2022 Marianas Village Pride Basketball League last Saturday at the Gillette Multi-Purpose Gymnasium in Gualo Rai.

National players Leo Naraja and Lucio Aldan made their presence felt early to help Gualo Rai jump to a huge lead in the first 20 minutes of action.

After a 35-17 deficit in the first half, things would only go from bad to worse for San Antonio, as high-flying Craig Padayao joined the scoring parade in the second half to help Gualo Rai cruise to the 29-point win.

San Antonio’s offensive sputtered all game and its total points  in the match (39) was just 4 points off Gualo Rai’s halftime output (35).

Aldan and Padayao paced all scorers with 15 markers apiece, while Naraja chipped in 14 points of his own for the 1-0 Gualo Rai squad. 

San Antonio, which absorbed its second loss in as many games, was led by the 8 points of Lance Lerio and the 7 points of M.J. Capalad.

In the first game, Oleai mirrored Gualo Rai’s dominance in dispatching Garapan, 55-28, in the U13 age group.

Oleai got off to a jack rabbit start as they left Garapan biting their dust and entered intermission with a sizeable 23-13 spread.

Garapan continued to grope for form in the second half and Oleai just kept puncturing the hoop from every direction to finish the game running away.

Payton Basa was spectacular for the 1-0 Oleai squad with 19 points, while Theo and D.J. Joab supported him with 16 and 14 points, respectively. 

The 0-2 Garapan team was spearheaded by the 8 points of Lance Laxamana and the 6 points of Leon Galarse.

In the women’s division, San Vicente made it back-to-back wins as national player Destiny Pangelinan rained down triple after triple to almost single-handedly beat San Antonio, 38-28.

Pangelinan and company actually were in a dogfight of sorts against the southsiders in the first half, which they led only by a candlestick, 19-18.

But come the start of the second half, it was full steam ahead for San Vicente as Pangelinan just couldn’t be stopped. 

Pangelinan shot the lights out with 25 points, including five triples, to lead San Vicente. Center Angel Roligat added 7 markers in support.

San Antonio, which dropped its second straight game, was led by the 8 points of Mia Abuan and the 6 points of Kaitlyn Chavez. 

The 2022 Marianas Village Pride Basketball League is being run by the Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Federation.

First Game
Oleai 55 – Basa 19, T. Joab 16, D. Joab 14, Saures 6.

Garapan 28 – Laxamana 8, Galarse The 6, Mercado 4, Tenorio 4, Neric 4, Demapan 2.

Scoring by halves: 23-13, 55-28.

Second Game

San Vicente 38 – Pangelinan 25, Roligat 7, Ramos 4, Deleon Guerrero 2.

San Antonio 28 – Abuan 8, Chavez 6, Az. Fatialofa 6, Navarro 3, Hix 2, Aa. Fatialofa 2.

Scoring by halves: 19-18, 38-28.

Third Game
Gualo Rai 68 – Aldan 15, Padayao 15, Naraja 14, Garcia 7, Cepeda 4, Sasamoto 4, Hernandez 4, Borja 3, Konman 2.

San Antonio 39 – Lerio 8, Capalad 7, Lucero 5, Diaz 4, Defang 4, Regalado 3, Pineda 2, Mercado 2, Navarro 2.

Scoring by halves: 35-17, 68-39.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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