Ol’ Aces sweep Ali’I Blue Haus


The Ol’Aces’ Douglas Schmidt loses his balance as he drives and draws a foul on Ali’i Blue Haus’ Junar Guiab during the fourth quarter of Game 2 of their title series in the island-wide caging last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The Ol’Aces swept the short finals series in the 2016 Island-wide Men’s Basketball League after earning contrasting wins in Games 1 and 2 against Ali’i Blue Haus.

The Elias Rangamar-coached Ol’Aces finished the best-of-three title showdown after pulling off a 90-82 victory in Game 2 last Saturday night at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. In Game 1 last Thursday, the Ol’Aces eased past Ali’i Blue Haus, 104-84, to move closer to the championship.

In the second game, Ali’i Blue Haus threatened to even up the series as it sliced the Ol’Aces’ 9-point lead, 77-68, to one, 80-81. Ali’i Blue Haus made one final push in the last five minutes of the match, outgunning the Ol’Aces, 12-4, with Ivan Devero knocking in 6 points, Manolo Manalo adding 3, and Elmer Esdrelon starting the rally with a triple.

In that spurt, Devero had a chance to tie the match at 81-all, but his short jumper rimmed out, while Manalo also bungled an opportunity to equalize when he split his charity.

After Manalo hit his second free throw and Ali’i Blue Haus trimmed the deficit to a hair, the Ol’Aces sued for time and when the game resumed, Jack Lizama unloaded a baseline jumper, but missed. Esdrelon and Barbo went for the offensive rebound, but neither managed to control the rebound, while Douglas Schmidt was at the right place and at the time, as the ball dropped in front of him for the point-blanked shot that gave the Ol’Aces more breathing room, 83-80.

A quick banked shot from Barbo on the other end kept Ali’i Blue Haus in the game, however he committed a bad foul on the other end, bringing down his team’s chances to steal the win. Barbo was whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul on Schmidt, who was about to lose his defender on a dribble when the Ali’i Blue Haus big man hung on to the latter’s jersey.

Schmidt made the two shots after Barbo’s infraction for the Ol’Aces’ 88-82 lead. The eventual champions were also given the possession and Dan Barcinas, with the Ali’i Blue Haus’ defense still disorganized after the tough luck that hit Barbo, went for an easy drive to make it an 8-point advantage. The scores did not change, as Ali’i Blue Haus missed on the other end and the Ol’Aces melted the clock down.

Schmidt paced the Ol’Aces in Game 1 with his 31 points and he also top-scored for his squad in Game 1, logging 23.

Lizama, Barcinas, and Pelisamen combined for 41 points for the Ol’Aces in their easy win in the series opener, breaking the game wide open in the third quarter, 81-63.

Ali’i Blue Haus seemed ready to bounce back in Game 2 to force a rubber match as it led in the majority of the first half before a series of errors late in the second canto gave the Ol’Aces the momentum. Ali’i Blue Haus was still ahead, 33-28, when the Ol’Aces’ anticipated the former’s entry passes and forced turnovers, which the eventual champions converted into fastbreak plays. Pelisamen had 6 straight points off those errant feeds and the Ol’Aces ended the half with a 49-45 lead.

It was a seesaw battle in the second half with Barbo, Esdrelon, and Manalo holding the forth for Ali’i Blue Haus, but in the end Schmidt and company showed poise to close the series.

Game 2
Ol’Aces 90 — Schmidt 31, Pelisamen 21, Barcinas 16, Lizama 8, Rabauliman 4, Deleon Guerrero 4, Basa 3.
Ali’i Blue Haus 82 — Barbo 19, Esdrelon 17, Manalo 14, Peredo 8, Devero 6, De Dios 6, Capalad 5, Guiab 2.
Scoring by quarters: 22-25, 49-45, 70-66, 90-82.

Game 1
Ol’Aces 104 — Schmidt 23, Lizama 17, Barcinas 13, Pelisamen 11, Basa 9, Pua 6, Villacrusis 4, Babauta 2.
Ali’i Blue Haus 84 — Fernando 14, Esdrelon 12, Devero 13, Manalo 9, Barbo 9, Demapan 6, Berline 2.
Scoring by quarters: 27-19, 52-40, 81-63, 104-84.

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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