Hard Kulangot extends streak


Hard Kulangot stretched its winning run to three after slipping past Red Rice, 45-44, in the continuation of their suspended game in the 2015 Blue Haus/IT&E Inter-Color Basketball League last Saturday at the Navy Hill court.

Marlo Ibanez nailed the go-ahead basket off a feed from J.R. Barrios, while Bryan Lontoc had a crucial steal to lift Hard Kulangot to a 3-1 record for a tie for first place with Makalaro Lang and Wag Kang Pabebe.

Ibanez made a reverse layup under the basket after getting a lob from Barrios from the top of the key, with 16 seconds left in the game. Ibanez’s field goal made up for his back-to-back errors in the last two minutes of the match. He earlier threw an errant crossover pass to Barrios in a fastbreak play and later lost possession to Michael Cabanas at the backcourt. Cabanas then issued a pass to a cutting Darwin Barbo, who drove strong to the basket and was fouled by Marlon De Dios. Barbo drilled the two charities to put Red Rice on top, 44-43, with 33 seconds remaining in the match.

Hard Kulangot sued for time and when the game resumed, Barrios quarterbacked for his squad and teamed up with Ibanez for the backdoor play and the eventual game-winning basket.

Red Rice also called a timeout in the final 16 seconds of the match, but failed to get the needed basket, as Angelo Fernando’s short jumper rattled off the rim. Red Rice got another chance when the ball hit De Dios’ back in the battle for the offensive rebound. Fernando did the inbound play, but his bounce pass under the basket intended for Cabanas was intercepted by Lontoc, who dribbled away from Red Rice defenders as time expired.

Jerome Pollisco top-scored for Hard Kulangot with his 13 points, knocking in 5 straight to give his team its biggest lead, 39-32, with eight minutes left in the match, which resumed at the 16:50 mark of the second half after its suspension last Sept. 6.

A Red Rice 10-0 run off two charities each from Fernando and Barbo, Cabanas’ back-to-back layups, and a jumper from the former turned the tables on Hard Kulangot, 42-39.

Hard Kulangot then stopped the bleeding, thanks to De Dios’ drive, while Loctoc added another field goal to regain the upper hand, which they lost anew as they played erratic in the last three plays before Ibanez redeemed himself in the end.

Hard Kulangot 45 – Pollisco 13, Barrios 12, Lontoc 10, Ibanez 7, De Dios 2, Cultura 1.

Red Rice 44 – Fernando 16, Barbo 13, Cabanas 8, Saplan 7.

Scoring by halves: 25-24, 45-44.

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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