Kanoa Resort booted out Saipan Tribune/Realty Management Service after notching an 87-79 win in the first playoff game, while POI knocked out CTSI, 100-67, to join Shirley’s Coffee Shop and Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan in the semifinals. Fiesta and Kanoa will play in the first semis game tomorrow at 4pm, while Shirley’s and POI will duel in the second Final Four match at 5:30pm.
POI, which forfeited its last three games in the second round due to lack of players, this time showed up with enough manpower in the knockout match to make it to the next round. Jason Palacios played only in his third game of the season and scored 31 big points to power POI to the playoff win. He and three other POI players drilled at least two baskets apiece in the opening canto, as they took an early double-digit lead, 23-8. CTSI fell behind, as only Ariel Jinang and Edgar Garcia scored for the team with the former hitting back-to-back treys and the latter adding two points.
Palacios continued to lead POI’s offense, adding 9 more points, while Ramsa Tenepere and J.P. Villanueva backed him up chipping in 6 apiece, as the squad kept its twin-digit advantage at the break, 51-35.
POI went on to maintain its safe distance and even reached the century mark for the first time this season because of its balance scoring. Three other POI players duplicated Palacios’ double figures with Brylan Floresco tallying 18 and Tenepere and Villanueva contributing 14 each. Ferdie Arago and Richard Kim combined for 14 more points.
While POI drew contributions from several players, CTSI had a two-man show in Garcia and Jinang, who nailed 24 and 21 points, respectively. Edong Chavez logged 11, but most of his points game when the game was already decided.
In the first playoff game, Kanoa Resort took care of business in the second half to eliminate Saipan Tribune/RMS.
After trailing in the first period, 12-18, and holding a slim 3-point lead at the break, 34-31, Kanoa shifted gears in the third canto and zoomed to a 57-46 advantage. Matt Duenas, who missed the first quarter action, fired a baker’s dozen, including Kanoa’s last 7 markers to give his team full control of the match. Duenas earlier dropped 12 markers when he started playing in the second quarter and kept going in the fourth, adding 7 more to finish with a game-high 21 markers and usher Kanoa to the semis round.
Mico Usi also scored in twin digits for Kanoa with his 12, while four of his teammates added at least 5 points each. Ferdie de la Torre paced Saipan Tribune/RMS with his 20 points, while Mark Rabago and Jersh Angeles registered 19 and 12, respectively.
Kanoa Resort 87 – Duenas 31, Usi 11, Pablo 8, Armia 8, Bustillo 8, Villaluna 7, Ordona 5, Huliganga 2, De Arroz 2.
Saipan Tribune/RMS 79 – de La Torre 20, Rabago 19, Angeles 15, Pagarao 10, Chan 4, Moran 4, O. Ong 2, Galvez 2, Pajarillaga 1.
Scoring by quarters: 12-18, 34-31, 57-46, 87-79.
POI 100 – Palacios 31, Floresca 18, Tenepere 14, Villanueva 14, Arago 8, Kim 6, Mejia 4.
CTSI 67 – Garcia 24, Jinang 21, Echavez 11, Salazar 6, Ilago 4.
Scoring by quarters: 23-8, 51-35, 76-49, 100-67.