Islander, Hoopaholics hammer opponents


United Filipino Organization and IT&E 2019 Basketball League commissioner Lito Espino, right, presents the Forex Best Player of the Game prize to Islander Rent A Car’s Ken Viray last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. Islander routed Pacific Islands Club, 105-56. (Contributed Photo)

Islander Rent A Car and the Hoopaholics waltzed past their respective foes in the Open Division of the United Filipino Organization and IT&E 2019 Basketball League last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

In the curtain-raiser, Islander pounced on Pacific Islands Club, 105-56, while in the second game, the Hoopaholics walloped Saipan Vegas, 73-50.

Islander went for the kill right in the first quarter, as it built a 30-12 advantage after the opening 10 minutes of play. Mac Mintac led Islander’s jackrabbit start, as he nearly matched PIC’s total output after making 8 points. Elgene Mangali added 5 markers, while Mii Tekopua, Ken Viray, and Sydney Quan chipped in 4 points apiece.

After a strong start, Mintac was held to one field goal in the second period, but Viray, Mangali, Rocyl Ritual, Joseph Torres, and John Pastrana were there to steady the ship and help Islander cruise to victory.

Viray finished with a team-high 22 points, while Torres added 14, 12 of them came from downtown. Mintac also had twin digits with his 14, while Pastrana and Ritual combined for 18.

James Abuy led PIC with his 25 points, including 21 from beyond the arc.

In the second game, the Hoopaholics held Saipan Vegas to 1 point in the first quarter to take early control of the game.

John Ramos split his free throws for Saipan Vegas’ lone point in the lackluster opening canto.

While only one player hit the board for Saipan Vegas, the Hoopaholics drew contributions from eight players in the first period, allowing the team to gain a 21-1 advantage. Alex Lauron had 6 points in the first frame, while Dexter Tenorio and Melvin Cadiang chipped in 3 apiece.

The Hoopaholics continued to spread the wealth in the next three quarters to pin down Saipan Vegas, which leaned heavily on Leo Galarse. The former Saipan Southern High School standout was held to 3 points in the first half before finishing strong with 16 markers in the last 20 minutes of play. However, no other Saipan Vegas player made double figures in the squad’s third loss in as many games.

Lauron and Maverick Itibus led the Hoopaholics’ balanced attack after posting 12 points each, while Tenorio and Cadiang had 11 apiece. Mel Manibusan was the fifth Hoopaholics players to earn twin digits in scoring with his 10 markers, while Kelvin Fitial and Walter Mendez combined for 12.

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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