IT&E, which started its bid in the women’s division with a 0-2 record before barging into the win column after downing Kanoa Resort on Dec. 27, made it two in a row, following a 39-16 domination of Sun Palace last Friday and kept the run with a 42-39 victory over Shirley’s Coffee Shop last Saturday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium .
Against Shirley’s (2-2), IT&E had to withstand a Jeraldine Castillo-led rally in the homestretch to improve its record to 3-2.
Shirley’s played catch up in the closing minutes of the match as IT&E turned a slim 28-27 lead to double-digit spread, 38-27. Four different IT&E players teamed up in the 10-0 run past the halfway mark of the 20-minute second half with Jennifer Villagomez capping the surge with a triple from the right key.
Shirley’s sued for time, as IT&E was slowly pulling away and answered with its own rally—a 9-2 spurt—to move within four, down to the last 1:04 of the match. Castillo scored 7 of Shirley’s 9 points to keep her team in the game, but failed to complete the come-from-behind win in the end.
Castillo had a chance to move Shirley’s closer when IT&E muffed a shot on the other end, but she fumbled on a fastbreak play. IT&E then turned the error into points with Teresita Sablan feeding Tawnie Manibusan for a breakaway layup.
Down by six, 36-42, with a lot of time left, Shirley’s threatened IT&E anew with Castillo this time canning a triple. Lily Williams tried to get the 3 points back with her long shot, but it fell short and IT&E was called for a 24-second violation after Madeleine Alegre plucked the rebound and then had butterfingers.
Though IT&E was charged with the violation, it was still a lucky break for the team, as Shirley’s seemed headed for a fastbreak attack when it picked up the loose ball. IT&E called a timeout after the infraction and played tough defense on Castillo in the remaining 22 seconds of the match. Castillo went on to lose the ball as two defenders hounded her and IT&E melted the clock to secure the win.
Williams top-scored for IT&E with her 10 points, while Jan Travilla chipped in 8.
Travilla was the leading scorer in IT&E’s 23-point winning margin against Sun Palace, while Karlene Reyes and Kyla Ito contributed 8 each.
Meanwhile, in the first game last Saturday, Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan romped past Kanoa Resort, 44-25.
Three Fiesta Resort players hit double figures to notch the easy win—the team’s third in four games. Lian Reyes had 14, while Friendly Joy Pena and A.J. Garon tallied 11 and 10, respectively.
IT&E 39–Travilla 9, Reyes 8, Ito 8, Manibusan 6, Alegre 4, Deleon Guerrero 2, Flores 2.
Sun Palace 16–Cardinio 6, D. Avelino 5, Lumabi 3, C. Avelino 2.
Scoring by halves: 23-3, 39-16.
Fiesta Resort 44–Reyes 14, Pena 11, Garon 10, Francisco 8, Bergosa 2.
Kanoa Resort 26–Lizama 10, Jones 6, Agulto 4, Lacay 4, S. Santos 2.
Scoring by halves: 28-12, 44-26.
ITE 42–Williams 10, Travilla 8, Manibusan 6, Alegre 5, Lopez 4, Villagomez 3.
Shirley’s 39–Castillo 22, Pablo 4, Echavez 4, Ito 3, Vergara 2 Enriquez 2, Abantao 2.
Scoring by halves: 18-16, 42-39.