IT&E tops Ol’Aces in finale


IT&E’s Ya Han is hounded by Ol’Aces defenders during the fourth quarter of their title game in the girls U18 division of the Diaz youth caging last Friday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

IT&E ruled the girls U18 division of the 2017 Francisco M. Diaz Memorial Youth League after outclassing the Ol’Aces in the winner-take-all finals, 64-48, last Friday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

IT&E played with only five players in the championship game, but the solid offensive games of Tawnie Manibusan and Jan Travilla were more than enough to compensate for its shorthanded lineup and hand the squad the easy title win. Manibusan top-scored for IT&E with his 26 points, while Travilla added 23. Karleen Reyes and Gillian Villagomez contributed 6 points, while Ya Han tallied 3 to complete the box scores for IT&E, which missed two players due to injuries (Guinevere Borja and Kye Tam) and three more who are off-island.

Despite its depleted roster, IT&E had little problem dispatching the Ol’Aces, as Manibusan hit her target early and was backed up by Travilla. Manibusan scored IT&E’s first three baskets and finished the opening quarter with 10 points, while Travilla chipped in 6 to lift their team to a 17-8 lead.

IT&E never looked back from thereon, as the best that the Ol’Aces could do was cut the deficit to 6, 42-48, with a few minutes gone by in the fourth canto.

The fourth period started with IT&E enjoying a 48-32 advantage. With the big lead, the Catherine Toves-coached squad relaxed a bit, allowing the Ol’Aces to launch a 10-0 run off Chevy Kate Alipio’s 4 points and 2 each from Chenille Espinosa, Jasmine Phan, and Mary Kay Alferos.

The Ol’Aces had a chance to move closer, but Alipio missed a layup, while Ya Han finally gave IT&E its first basket in the fourth quarter with her bank shot and Reyes followed it up with a layup to bring their lead back to double figures, 52-42. IT&E was never threatened after that with Manibusan and Travilla putting the finishing touches on their 16-point winning margin.

Meanwhile, in the continuation of the regular season of the boys U18 division, Mt. Carmel School also eased past Kagman Rollers, 61-48.

The trio of Kelvin Cepeda, Francisco Gamab, and Tony Deleon Guerrero made things happen for the Knights as they combined for more than half of the squad’s production. Cepeda scored a team-high 13 points, while Gamab and Deleon Guerrero added 11 and 10, respectively.

Girls Division
IT&E 64 – Manibusan 26, Travilla 23, Reyes 6, Villagomez 6, Han 3.
Ol’Aces 48 – Alipio 22, Daluyong 8, Alferos 6, Phan 4, Camacho 2, Kenty 2, Simram 2, Espinosa 2.
Scoring by quarters: 17-8, 35-25, 48-32, 64-48.

Boys Division
MCS Knights 61 – Cepeda 13, Gamab 11, Deleon Guerrero 10, Kiser 7, Santos 4, Richardson 4, Quitugua 2, Castro 2.
Kagman Rollers 48 – Duenas 16, Agulto 11, Arceo 7, Naputi 6, Fabia 1, Mendiola 2, Fitial 2, Rabauliman 1.

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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