MSV zeroes in on semis seat


MS Villagomez’s Dixon Kwon, top, attempts to steal the ball from Bridge Capital, LLC’s Vincent Teregeyo during their game in the 2019 Atkins Kroll Marianas International Basketball League last Tuesday night at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

MS Villagomez pushed Bridge Capital, LLC to the brink of elimination after winning their crucial duel, 96-88, last Tuesday night in the 2019 Atkins Kroll Marianas International Basketball League at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

MS Villagomez improved to a 5-2 record for third place in the team standings and is likely to join pacesetter Saipan Vegas (8-0) and second-running IT&E (7-1) in the semifinals with still two games left in its campaign in the regular season. MSV will face Aqua Resort Club tomorrow and Saipan Vegas on Thursday.

Bridge Capital, on the other hand, fell to a 4-4 mark, and must win its last game against AK Toyota this Saturday and pray that Caravan’s (5-3) loses to Mystique BBQ on Tuesday to at least force a tie for fourth place in the team standings. Only the Top 4 teams will advance to the semis after the round-robin regular season.

MS Villagomez zeroed in on the semis berth after playing steadier in the fourth quarter of its back-and-forth game against Bridge Capital.

Young guns Chioni Dela Cruz and Matthew Richardson teamed up with veteran big man Mel Manibusan in the fourth canto, as they combined for 25 of MS Villagomez’s 29 markers in the final frame. Dela Cruz scored 10 points in the fourth period, while Richardson and Manibusan added 8 and 7, respectively.

Manibusan stepped up in the second half, as he earlier logged 6 markers in the third period after being held to one point in the first half to turn a 44-50 halftime deficit to a 67-65 lead. Eli Aughenbaugh also had 6 points in MSV’s third-quarter turnaround, while five of his teammates also hit the board in that period.

Bridge lost the driver’s seat in the penultimate quarter, as only four players earned baskets for the squad and Freddie Pelisamen carried the load for the team with his 9 markers. Vince Teregeyo, who finished the half with 17 points, was scoreless in the third and with only Pelisamen making multiple baskets, Bridge Capital clearly missed the services of gunner Matt Duenas.

Bridge Capital went on to play catch up in the fourth period and failed to regain the upper hand with its limited offensive options. Only Teregeyo and John Santos registered more than 4 points in the final canto, while Pelisamen was held to two field goals.

Meanwhile, The Game got out of slump after routing TanHoldings in the second match last Tuesday, 121-93.

The Game bagged its third win after dropping five straight matches, while TanHoldings finished the season without a victory in nine games.

Mac Mintac paced The Game with his 52 points.

First Game
MS Villagomez 96—Dela Cruz 20, Richardson 16, Manibusan 14, Deleon Guerrero 11, Augenbaugh 8, Babauta 7, King 7, Lajara 4, Villagomez 4, Teregeyo 2, Kwon 2.
Bridge Capital 88—Pelisamen 28, Teregeyo 25, Santos 13, Cabaltica 12, Deleon Guerrero 10, Camacho 2, M. Duenas 1.
Scoring by quarters: 27-23, 44-50, 67-65, 96-88.

Second Game
The Game 121—Mintac 52, Javier 16, Fidelino 15, Parulan 14, Bernardo 13, Hernandez 6, Vivero 5.
TanHoldings 93—Torregosa 26, Dayao 24, Echavez 21, Centino 12, Lumen 10.
Scoring by quarters: 24-25, 59-42, 94-65, 121-93.

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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