I Love Saipan, Fliptop enter quarterfinals


I Love Saipan crushed Garapan Boys, 92-75, in the first playoff game in the 2014 DLX/IT&E Invitational Basketball League last Friday night at the Gualo Rai Basketball Court to march into the quarterfinals.

I Love Saipan turned a close game into a rout after going for the kill in the fourth quarter. Ahead by only 3 points after the third period, 59-56, I Love Saipan dropped 33 points to send Garapan Boys packing and advance to the Round of 8 against Group B No. 2 finisher Hite.

Gyles Ruluked, Larry Sharry, and Mike Olatiman scored in streaks in the fourth period to lift I Love Saipan to the 17-point victory. Ruluked drilled 6 straight markers early in the fourth, Sharry had 5 in a row midway in the final canto, while Olaitiman closed out for I Love Saipan, tallying 8 of the team’s last 10 markers.

Early in the first three periods, I Love Saipan rode on the shoulders of White Capalad, who converted four triples and finished the third canto with 22 points to keep his team on top. The shooting guard then started I Love Saipan’s offense in the fourth with back-to-back baskets before his teammates picked up where he left off to eliminate Garapan Boys.

Garapan Boys had only 19 points in the fourth canto to bow out of the season. Jun Fidelino led Garapan with 26 points, while Christian Devero chipped in 23.

Joining Garapan in the showers was Digital Motion, which suffered a 58-78 loss at the hands of Flip Top.

Flip Top drew a solid offensive game from Lerio Pagarao to move to the quarterfinals against Group A No. 2 placer Saipan Ice. Pagarao gained 29 points, unloading three triples in the second quarter where Flip Top began to control the win-or-go-home match.

Flip Top held a shaky 12-11 lead at the end of the first frame before Pagarao nailed 11 of the team’s 25 points in the second canto for a 37-25 halftime advantage. Pagarao kept going in the second half to oust Digital Motion.

First Game

I Love Saipan 92 – Capalad 26, Sharry 14, Ruluked 11, J. Olopai 9, R. Olopai 8, M. Olaitiman 8, Suda 6, Manglona 3.

Garapan Boys 75 – Fidelino 26, Devero 23, Yap 8, Santos 5, Quan 4, Tangcoy 2.

Scoring by quarters: 20-19, 38-32, 59-56, 92-75.

Second Game

Flip Top 78 – Pagarao 29, Cadiang 9, Aguon 8, Quitugua 8, Barbo 6, Jung 4, Isip 3, Vidal 3, Hockett 2.

Digital Motion 58 – Lorenzo 20, A. Reyes 10, Alipio 10, Gabaldon 9, J. Reyes 6, Libuw 4, Vargas 2, Umali 2.

Scoring by quarters: 12-11, 37-25, 59-48, 78-58.

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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