The Ol’Aces and Ace Hardware took the first two Final Four seats in the Mariana Islands Basketball Federation’s Inaugural Men’s Outdoor League after eliminating their respective opponents last Tuesday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
The top-seeded Ace Hardware moved into the Final Four following a 65-55 victory over the Junior Ol’Aces, while the Ol’Aces followed suit, thanks to their 93-68 domination of 5-Star Construction in the second playoff game.
The Ol’Aces set up the easy win after they started to pull away in the second quarter, which began with the team just ahead by 6, 20-14. Jesus Iguel helped the Ol’Aces widen the gap, scoring 12 points in the second canto. Freddie Pelisamen and Dan Barcinas also did their share, combining for the Ol’Aces’ last 9 markers in the first half to hand their team a 50-32 advantage at the break.
At the resumption of the match, the Ol’Aces kept going and showed no mercy in the fourth quarter to knock off 5-Star Construction.
Iguel paced the Ol’Aces with his 24 points, while Pelisamen and Barcinas also finished in twin digits with 17 and 13, respectively. Angelo Fernando led 5-Star Construction with his 24 markers.
Sid Quan also had a 20-plus output (22) in Ace Hardware’s 10-point winning margin.
His consistent scoring plus the support from Marvin Rabauliman, Ken Viray, and Dave Camacho allowed Ace Hardware to maintain its safe distance against the Junior Ol’Aces. Rabauliman chipped in 15, while Viray and Camacho contributed 13 and 10, respectively.
With the victory, Ace Hardware will face the winner of the playoff match between Saipan Apparel and GMI Market on Tuesday (Jan. 17), the start of the double-elimination semis. Saipan Apparel and GMI Market will collide in the win-or-go-home match tonight at 6:30pm.
Also set for a make-or-break tiff today at 8pm are Duenas Compound and the San Antonio Patriots with the winner battling the Ol’Aces at the start of the Final Four round.
Ace Hardware 65 – Quan 22, Rabauliman 15, Viray 13, Camacho 10, Babauta 4, Hammond 2.
Junior Ol’Aces 55 – Castro 25, Kabiriel 8, Siech 6, Norita 5, Blake 4, Borja 2, Sablan 2.
Scoring by quarters: 20-12, 37-19, 51-36, 65-55.
Ol’Aces 93 – Iguel 24, Pelisamen 17, Barcinas 13, Nakashima 5, Palino 5, Iginoef 5, Basa 4, Libuw 4, Villacrusis 4, Santos, Deleon Guerrero 3.
5-Star Construction 68 – Fernando 24, Hernaez 14, Cabanas 11, Pineda 8, Estanislaco 4, Pangelinan 4, Cabigting 4, Arnold 3.
Scoring by quarters: 20-14, 50-32, 64-53, 93-68.