Interesting semis race in MIBL


Bridge Capital, LLC’s Matt Duenas pulls up for a jumper against three TanHoldings defenders during an earlier game in the 2019 Atkins Kroll Marianas International Basketball League at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. Bridge Capital played against Mystique BBQ last Tuesday and won, 94-84. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

Bridge Capital, LLC and MS Villagomez prevailed in their respective matches at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium, making the battle for the last two semis berths in the 2019 Atkins Kroll Marianas International Basketball League exciting.

MS Villagomez nipped Caravan’s in last Saturday’s game, 72-71, while Bridge Capital topped Mystique BBQ last Tuesday, 94-84. MS Villagomez now has a 4-2 record for third place in the team standings, while Bridge Capital and Caravans are tied for fourth to fifth place with their similar 4-3 slates.

Only the Top 4 teams after the round-robin elimination will advance to the semis and the unbeaten Saipan Vegas (6-0) and IT&E (6-1) have already secured the first two seats to the Final Four.

MS Villagomez boosted its chances of joining the Top 2 squads to the semis after pulling off a come-from-behind victory over Caravan’s, which lead by as much as 11 in the second quarter, 35-24, and was still ahead at the end of the third, 58-56, before losing in the fourth.

Matthew Richardson anchored MS Villagomez’s comeback in the second half after scoring all his 15 minutes in the final 20 minutes of play. He had 9 markers in the fourth quarter to steal the win for MS Villagomez. Chioni Dela Cruz, Anthony Lajara, Mel Manibusan, and John Babauta scored one basket apiece in the final period, while only Ken Viray and Angelo Factor made field goals for Caravan’s.

Meanwhile, former CNMI National Team member Freddie Pelisamen stood out in their game against Mystique BBQ, as he delivered 36 points in Bridge Capital’s 10-point win.

Pelisamen showed consistency on offense, as he made at least three field goals in each of the four quarters. The Bridge Capital gunner capped his long-game brilliance with a 12-point production in the fourth canto, which started with his team clinging to a 65-63 lead.

Pelisamen’s strong finish and contributions from Matt Duenas, Leroy Rangamar, and Eric Deleon Guerrro allowed Bridge Capital to gain more cushion in the final canto en route to its fourth victory.

Saturday Game
MS Villagomez 72—Richardson 15, Lajara 11, Dela Cruz 10, Manibusan 9, King 8, Babauta 8, Deleon Guerrero 6, Aughenbaugh 3, Teregeyo 2, Pangelinan 1.
Caravan’s 71—Viray 22, Villarin 13, Andrew 12, Factor 11, Standish 7, Quan 4, Rotap 2.
Scoring by quarters: 16-17, 26-35, 56-58, 72-71.

Tuesday Game
Bridge Capital 94—Pelisamen 37, Teregeyo 15, Deleon Guerrero 15, Cabaltica 8, Rangamar 8, Matt Duenas 5, Rogolifoi 2, Camacho 2, Norita 2.
Mystique BBQ 84—Torres 14, Jose 14, Bernardo 13, Dancel 12, Broncano 9, Moises 7, Casbin 7, Castillo 4, Isip 4.
Scoring by quarters: 24-25, 46-40, 65-63, 94-84

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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