Northern Marianas Sports Association and Fire won the opening games in the 2016 Inter-Gov’t/Business Basketball League last Monday night at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
NMSA played in the first game and defeated Commonwealth Ports Authority, 70-60, while in the second game Fire edged Best Sunshine, 56-54.
Marvin Rabauliman lifted Fire to the close win, scoring 7 of the team’s 10 points in the fourth quarter, including the squad’s first three baskets in the final frame and a free throw that sealed the victory. John Santos tallied the 3 other markers for Fire. Rabauliman finished the game with a team-high 20 markers.
Paolo Sanguyo had 22 points on a losing effort for Best Sunshine, which went toe-to-toe with Fire before falling short in the end. Sanguyo registered all but 2 of Best Sunshine’s 10 points in the fourth canto.
The Best Sunshine gunner started slow, making only 4 points in the first period, but his other teammates stepped up for their 18-12 advantage after the first 10 minutes of play.
Fire then began hitting shots from downtown in the second frame to grab the upper hand, 29-26. A triple from Josh Sablan put Fire on top at halftime. Fire also knocked in its last shot in the third canto from beyond the arc off Ben Lisua’s conversion to maintain the lead, 46-44, going into the final frame.
In the fourth canto, Rabauliman took over, trading baskets with Sanguyo and drawing a little help from Santos to hand Fire the close win.
In the curtain-raiser, NMSA got double figures from three players to beat CPA. Nak Nakashima paced NMSA with his 14 markers, while Connie Camacho and Ben Jones added 13 and 12, respectively. Don Brennan was lone twin-digit scorer for CPA with his 15 points.
NMSA 70 — Nakashima 14, Camacho 13, Jones 12, J. Iguel 9, Rangamar 5, Babauta 4, L. Iguel 3, Villacrusus 2.
CPA 60 — Brennan 15, David Camacho 9, Dave Camacho 8, Iguel 6, Tudela 6, Toves 4, Aldan 2, Torres 2.
Fire 56 — Rabauliman 20, Santos 7, Sablan 6, Lisua 6, Kaipay 4, Pua 3, Cruz 3, Iginoef 2.
Best Sunshine 54 — Sanguyo 22, Demapan 13, S. Fernandez 5, A. Fernandez 3, Wu 2, Tudela 2, Eugenio 2, Bautista 2.