Marianas Variety nips DC in finals

Marianas Variety’s Salam Younis pulls up for a short jumper in front of DC defenders during the first quarter of the Bracket A finals in the Civic Center caging last Sunday in Susupe. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Prince Factor scored only one basket in the fourth quarter, but it mattered the most, as his follow up handed Marianas Variety a thrilling 73-72 victory over DC in the Bracket A finals of the 2019 Civic Center Basketball League last Sunday in Susupe.

Factor delivered the dagger off Melvin Villarin’s miss in the last five seconds of the game to lift Marianas Varietyto a come-from-behind win.

Marianas Variety faced a double-digit deficit at the end of the third period, 50-60, and also played catch up in the majority of the first half before rallying in the fourth to pull off an upset over the then undefeated DC.

Ken Viray and Joshua Andrew spearheaded Marianas Variety’s recovery, as they combined for 11 points in the fourth period before Prince Factor’s game-winner. Prince’s younger brother, Angelo, also helped out, making 8 of his 9 markers in the crucial fourth period, including important free throws. Syd Quan was the fifth Marianas Variety player to hit the board in the fourth canto.

DC, on the other hand, had only four players nailing a field goal in the final frame and no one made more than two baskets. Paolo Rafols scored 4 points, while Jack Aranda, Sean Rabasto, and Greg Sablan were held to 2 markers apiece. Jaymark De Guzman, who logged 8 points after the third, was scoreless in the fourth as he was ejected from the game with two minutes left in the finals after fighting with Marianas Variety’s John Babauta, who was also thrown out of the match.Matt Duenas, who missed the first period of the game before combining for 11 points in the second and third, was scoreless, too in the fourth.

Despite missing their key players early in the game, DC managed to take a 20-13 lead at the end of the first period. Aranda and De Guzman teamed up for 13 points to put the No. 1 seed DC in the driver’s seat.

DC remained on top in the second, 36-30, with Matt Duenas reporting for the match and backing up Aranda and company, but Marianas Variety stayed afloat, thanks to Viray’s 9 markers in that period.

Duenas then brought DC’s advantage back to double figures when he registered 7 points in the third canto and his eight teammates added at least one basket apiece.

Andrew and Prince Factor combined for 12 points in the third, while Viray chipped in 3 to prevent DC from breaking away in the penultimate frame. Marianas Variety then caught up with DC in the fourth and stole the victory off Prince Factor’s putback.

Marianas Variety 73—Viray 19, Andrew 16, P. Factor 13, A. Factor 9, Quan 8, Villarin 4, Standish 2, Castro 2.
DC 72—Aranda 14, Rafols 13, M. Duenas 11, De Guzman 8, Sablan 7, Flores 6, Rabasto 6, Abobo 3, E. Duenas 3, Tekopua 1.
Scoring by quarters: 13-20, 30-36, 50-60, 73-72.

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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