The Ol’Aces downed a lethargic 670 Sonics, 47-41, in their U18 division game in the Inaugural Frank M. Diaz Memorial Youth League last Wednesday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
The Ol’Aces showed more energy in the game, resulting to several fastbreak plays in the second half, while the Sonics misfired from the foul line and muffed easy layups in the homestretch.
The Sonics were just down by nine, 36-45, with still four minutes left in the match, but went 0-for-4 in their first two trips from the stripe, while Mike Arciaga and Patrick Salalila missed point-blanked shots, allowing the Ol’Aces to protect their safe lead.
The Sonics made only two field goals in the meltdown with Djay Ong finally ending the drought with his triple, down to just 2.3 seconds in the match. Mike Espinosa scored the two other points of the Sonics when he hit 2-for-4 from the line.
While the Sonics seemed to bleed for baskets, the Ol’Aces played a steady offense and were hustling for loose balls to earn second-chance points. Napu Atalig led the Ol’Aces with his 13 points, while Aiferson Atan chipped in 12.
Espinosa paced the Sonics with his 15 markers, but he babied a lot of open shots.
In other U18 games results this week, Wong defeated the Junior Sonics last Monday, 50-46, while Rollers Red edged the Tanapag Warriors last Tuesday, 35-32.
Joseph Muna scored four of Rollers Red’s last six markers, including a pair of charities that sealed the win for his team. Markel Toves registered the two other points for Rollers Red. Muna finished with a team-high eight points, the same output Tony Deleon Guerrero contributed to Rollers Red’s cause. Greg Sablan had nine for the Warriors.
In the Wong-Junior Sonics tiff, the former canned three free throws in the homestretch to pull off the close win, Deether Edralin drilled two charities, while Kane Ybanez had a split.
Before Edralin and Ybanez’s charities, Wong leaned on the string of baskets by Rikko Saralu and Troy Ngirarois to keep up with the Junior Sonics. Saralu top-scored for Wong with his 17 points, while Ngirarois added 13, logging eight straight early in the second half. Saralu had seven successive markers midway in the second frame.