Ol’Aces take pennant in youth caging


An Ol’Aces player pulls up for a point-blanked shot during an earlier game against the Kagman Rollers in the boys U18 division of the Diaz youth caging at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The Ol’Aces clinched the pennant in the boys U18 division of the 2017 Francisco M. Diaz Memorial Youth League after defeating NMI Rollers/DYS and the Ol’Aces Elite.

The Ol’Aces won the battle of unbeaten teams last Friday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium after routing the NMI Rollers/DYS, 66-36, and then had a similar easy victory against the Ol’Aces Elite last Tuesday, 65-31. With their pair of wins, the Ol’Aces improved their record to 10-0 and were going for the regular season sweep last night against the 670 Sonics XVIII.

Versus the Ol’Aces Elite, the Ol’Aces built a 28-7 lead after the first quarter and never looked back for the 34-point winning margin. Coby Santos, Aiferson Atan, Dean Blake, and N-Nes Siech all scored in twin digits in the Ol’Aces’ lopsided victory, while only Xavier Okaruro broke into double figures for the Ol’Aces Elite (6-4).

Against the NMI Rollers/DYS (9-1), the Ol’Aces also had another balanced offense to take the pennant-clinching win. Siech, Blake, and K.J. Kabiriel teamed up in the Ol’Aces’ domination of NMI Rollers/DYS after combining for 25 points. Three other Ol’Aces players chipped in at least 8 points each.

The Ol’Aces were just ahead by 3 after the first period, 19-16, before they pulled away in the second, posting a 43-26 halftime advantage. Kabiriel led the breakaway, scoring 9 points in the pivotal period, while Siech chipped in 6.

The NMI Rollers/DYS bounced back from the loss with a close 64-63 overtime victory over the Kagman Rollers (5-7) last Monday.

Manny Cobacha scored 7 points in overtime, while Warren Ellama made the go-ahead basket to help NMI Rollers/DYS escape Kagman Rollers. In regulation, NMI Rollers/DYS leaned on Jude Tengco’s 8 points in the fourth quarter to force the extension.

In the other game last Monday, Natibu Warriors outclassed Kagman Sparks, 44-37. Rawhoo Sulap paced Natibu with his 13 points.

Natibu improved to a 7-5 record (unofficial) and is already assured of a slot in the eight-team single elimination playoffs. The Ol’Aces, 670 Sonics XVI and XVIII, Ol’Aces Elite, Mt. Carmel School, Warriors, and Kagman Rollers are also moving on to the next round, but the pairings in the playoffs have yet to be determined as two more make-up games were played last night and results were unavailable at press time. The playoff round will start on July 5 with the following pairings: No. 1 vs 8; No. 2 vs No.7; No. 3 vs No. 6; and No. 4 vs No. 5 in the final team standings. The O’Aces Extreme, Northside Wolves, Kagman Sparks, and Agape Christian School missed the cut.

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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