Ol’Aces share lead; Sonics XVIII wins


670 Sonics XVIII’s Robert Paragados pulls up for an open jumper during an earlier game against Kagman Sparks in the boys U18 division of the Diaz youth caging at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The Ol’Aces kept their clean slate to share the lead in the boys U18 division of the 2017 Francisco M. Diaz Memorial Youth League, while the 670 Sonics XVIII remained in the Top 4 of the team standings.

The Ol’Aces improved to an 8-0 record and joined the NMI Rollers at the No. 1 spot following a 78-27 demolition of Mt. Carmel School last Wednesday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. The 670 Sonics XVIII, on the other hand, defeated Kagman Rollers last Tuesday, 51-42, to gain a 7-3 record and retain the No. 3 spot in the rankings. Idle 670 Sonics XVI is at second place with its 8-2 mark.

Ronald Bernardo led the 670 Sonics XVIII’s victory over Kagman Rollers (5-6), as he scored 16 points, including 7 in the fourth quarter. The final canto ended with the 670 Sonics XVIII ahead by only 3, 35-32, before Bernardo helped his team widened the gap a little bit. Kagman Rollers, which forced the 670 Sonics XVIII to a deadlock at halftime, 22-22, failed to keep up with its foes in the fourth period after making only four field goals.

Jelbert Quitugua had 11 markers on a losing effort for Kagman Rollers, while Jerome Malasarte backed up Bernardo after adding 12 points.

In the Ol’Aces-Mt. Carmel game, the co-leaders pulled away right from the get-go, taking a 24-7 advantage after the first quarter. The Knights never made any headway in the remaining three periods, dropping the team to sixth place in the standings with their 6-5 record. Mt. Carmel has one more game left before moving into the playoffs. Only the Top 8 teams after the round-robin regular season of the 12-squad field will advance to the single-elimination playoffs that will start on July 5.

The Ol’Aces are also assured of the playoff berth with its perfect record so far and is likely to be paired against a lower-ranked team in the next round.

Coby Santos and N-Nes Siech scored 11 points apiece in the Ol’Aces’ easy win, while three of their teammates chipped in at least 8 markers apiece to rout the Knights, who had no players breaking into double figures.

In other results, the Natibu Warriors moved up to No. 5 in the standings following a 72-46 victory over the Northside Wolves last Wednesday.

Natibu now has a 6-4 record to clinch a playoff berth, while the Northside Wolves fell to a 2-8 mark and has been eliminated.

Rahwoo Sulap lifted Natibu to the 26-point winning margin after firing 22 points. Travis Melwelbug contributed 12, while Duncan Laxa led the Wolves with his 15 markers.

The Wolves’ loss to Natibu came just one day after the former slipped past the Kagman Sparks, 45-44. Laxa knocked in the go-ahead basket and scored 6 of the Wolves’ last 8 points in the match.

Kagman Sparks is joining the Wolves for an early vacation as the former is also out of contention with its 1-8 record.

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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