McDonald’s, Mariana Resort advance


McDonald’s players and their muse pose for a photo during the opening of the JEM/Mobil caging at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium early this year. McDonald’s is now in the quarterfinals after pulling off an upset over Top Development, Inc. (Contributed Photo)

McDonald’s recorded the first upset in the playoff round of the JEM Company Ltd./Mobil Customer Appreciation Basketball League, while the favored Mariana Resort also marched into the quarterfinals.

The No. 12 seed McDonald’s stunned the fifth-ranked Top Development, Inc., 85-75, in the second game last Monday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium to book a Round of 8 ticket. The No. 2 seed Mariana Resort earlier took the first quarterfinal seat following a 94-47 demolition of No. 15 Triple J Motors in the curtain-raiser.

With their triumphs, McDonald’s will duel in the quarterfinals the winner in the Joeten-Docomo Pacific game, while Mariana Resort will be paired against the victor of the GPPC-Star Water tiff.

Both Mariana Resort and McDonald’s leaned on their strong starts to control their respective games and eliminate their opponents.

Mariana Resort went on a 28-5 scoring surge in the first quarter and never looked back to move to the next round. Melvin Sakisat Jr. anchored Mariana Resort’s early attack after scoring 8 points, 6 of them came from the 3-point area.

Sakisat and company then continued to pepper Triple J with shots from beyond the arc to pad its lead en route to the 47-point winning margin. Mariana Resort knocked in 12 triples in its first playoff game, while Triple J had only one.

Sakisat finished with a team-high 15 points, while Frank Lifoifoi and Jun Fidelino chipped in 13, and J.R. Lifoifoi contributed 11. Aris Oris paced Triple J with his 16 markers.

In the second game, Michael Achas was on target to help McDonald’s oust its higher-ranked opponent.

Achas sizzled for 31 points, 12 of them were made from the downtown. He caught fire early, posting 12 points in the opening canto to lift McDonald’s to a double-digit lead, 29-12.

Achas continued to hit his mark in the ensuing periods and the rest of his teammates also contributed to McDonald’s cause to protect the squad’s twin-digit spread. Sonn Macaranas chipped in 17 markers and four other McDonald’s players finished with at least 6 points apiece.

Top Development failed to move out of the hole in the first quarter as it had only four players scoring in the playoff game. Raymond Velasco had 41 markers, Krizgel Arreza logged 16, and Allen and Jerome Reyes registered 11 and 8, respectively.

Meanwhile, four more teams will try to join McDonald’s and Mariana Resort in the quarterfinals as top-ranked TanHoldings squares off against last finisher Konstrak Builders at 6:30pm and No. 6 Best Deal/RNV Construction meets No. 11 Westco at 8pm.

First Game
Mariana Resort 94 – Sakisat 15, F. Lifoifoi 13, Fidelino 13, J. Lifoifoi 11, Kitani 8, Factor 7, Prado 7, Kapileo 6, Jani 4.
Triple J 47 – Oris 16, Patron 12, Medina 9, Inos 6, Obnimaga 2, Gamboa 2, Viola 2.
Scoring by quarters: 28-5, 50-12, 72-28, 94-47.

Second Game
McDonald’s 85 – Mi. Achas 31, Macaranas 17, Gaspar 9, J. Achas 7, Gapor 6, Mc. Achas 6.
TDI 75 – Velasco 40, K. Arreza 16, A. Reyes 11, J. Reyes 8.
Scoring by quarters: 29-12, 46-30, 69-50, 85-75.

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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