Kio drubs Power Builders in battle of ‘perfect teams’

Team Kio’s Matt Dela Cruz goes up for a running shot against Power Builders in their 2021 Island-wide Men’s BudLight Basketball League.

Team Kio’s Matt Dela Cruz goes up for a running shot against Power Builders in their 2021 Island-wide Men’s BudLight Basketball League game Monday night at the Tinian Multi-Purpose Gymnasium. (Contributed photo)

Team Kio preserved its undefeated season and also made sure Power Builders remained winless, 69-55, in the 2021 Island-wide Men’s BudLight Basketball League Monday night at the Tinian Multi-Purpose Gymnasium.

Seeing action in the opener, Kio allowed the league’s cellar dweller to hang with them in the first half. J.R. Libut flexed early, pouring 8 points in the first quarter as Power Builders stayed true to its name and were only down by a point, 14-15, after the first 10 minutes of play.

Power Builders continued to give Kio all sorts of trouble in the second quarter as Libut again ran riot against all defenders assigned to him, adding another 9 points. Lucio Sanchez and Robert Reyes brought some sanity back to Kio’s offense and combined for 12 points as they were able to lead by 7 points, 36-29, at the break.

There was an outage for Power Brokers as the second half ensued. Sanchez got a new sidekick in Dustin Sablan as the duo padded Kio’s lead to double digits, 59-46, heading into the fourth and final quarter.

It was all cruise control for Kio in the fourth as the team posted its seventh win in as many games, while Power Builders were the exact opposite in the win column at 0-7.

Sablan paced Kio with 18 markers, while Sanchez and Reyes ably supported him with 14 points apiece. Libut again shone in the loss with 31 big points, while Jayfee Apatan was the only double-figure scorer for Power Builders with 12 points.

In the second game, Rampage is now in sole possession of second place after Kio following its 74-58 thrashing of Devil Dog Warriors.
Rampage got off on the right foot, getting 11 points from Leo Pasuca—9 from downtown—as they immediately took a 17-10 spread against Devil Dog.

Despite Warriors deadeye Jake Montgomery doing his best Pascua impersonation in the second with three connections of his own from rainbow country, Rampage continued to grow its lead to 37-25 at the halftime break.

Devil Dog then proved they have more bark than bite in the third. The Warriors cut Rampage’s lead to single digits thanks to a 14-point explosion by Damon Kada and were down by only 57-49 going into the fourth and final quarter.

But Pascua and Walker would put an end to the Warriors’ quest to taking the No. 2 seat in the standings, combining for 16 points in the payoff period as Rampage won the game running away.

Walker was the high-point man for Rampage with 26 points, while Pascua was just 2 points behind at 24. Kada led Devil Dog in the loss with 24 markers, while Montgomery added 15. Rampage upped its record to 7-1, while Devil Dog dropped to 6-2.

First Game
Team Kio 69 – D. Sablan 18, Sanchez 14, Reyes 14, Kiyoshi 11, Cabrera 6, B. Sablan 4, Dela Cruz 2.
Power Builders 55 – J. Libut 31, Apatan 12, D. Libut 4, Castro 4, Dumdum 2, Roasa 2.
Scoring by quarters: 15-14, 36-29, 59-46, 69-55.

Second Game
Rampage 74 – Walker 26, Pascua 24, Manglona 10, Epity 6, Cepeda 4, Borja 3.
Devil Dog Warriors 58 – Kada 24, Montgomery 15, James 6, Ogaldez 6, Kubinski 3, Beal 2, Lapan 2.
Scoring by quarters: 17-10, 37-25, 57-49, 74-58.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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