Loving Hands reaches finals


Loving Hands moved into the title match in Bracket B of the 2019 Civic Center Basketball League after beating Far East, 88-82, last Saturday in Susupe.

Loving Hands gained a sizeable lead in the third quarter and thwarted Far East’s repeated comeback attempts in the fourth to notch the second finals berth in their group and set up a championship showdown against Lakay.

Ahead by only 5 at the break, 53-48, Jun Tabora, Jude Tengco, and Jun Javier teamed up in increasing Loving Hands’ lead to double digits after the third period, 72-58. Tabora had 6 points in the penultimate canto and all of them came from fastbreak plays, while Javier and Tengco contributed 5 and 4 markers, respectively. Junior Tabora and Ed Pangelinan scored the 5 other points for Loving Hands, while Far East had no player hitting more than a field goal in the third-quarter meltdown.

Jun Rueda and Andy Mortos tried to bring Far East back into the game in the fourth quarter, but fell short, as Jun Tabora, Tengco, and Javier were still there to knock in baskets that gave Loving Hands more breathing room.

Jun Tabora finished with 24 points, scoring consistently in all four quarters, while Tengco and Javier also tallied double figures, making 18 and 16, respectively. Javier was scoreless in the first canto, but redeemed himself in the second, firing 8 to keep Loving Hands in the driver’s seat. Tengco teamed up with Jun Tabora in providing baskets for Loving Hands in every quarter.

Rueda had a game-high 25 markers for Far East, but was held to 3 points and one field goal in the pivotal third quarter. Sahagun and Mortos registered 14 apiece, but had only 2 points each in the third frame.

Meanwhile, Loving Hands will dispute the Bracket B title with Lakay this Saturday, while Marianas Variety and DC battled for Bracket A crown last night, but results of the match were unavailable at press time.

Loving Hands 88—J. Tabora 24, Tengco 18, Javier 16, Vilacrusis 8, Alipio 7, Quemado 7, Jr. Tabora 6, Nachu 2.
Far East 82—Rueda 25, Sahagun 14, Mortos 14, Baul 9, Fernandez 7, Galvez 6, Serrano 3, Salalila 2, Capalad 2.
Scoring by quarters: 26-19, 53-48 72-58, 88-82.

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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