Ol’Aces, Tinian vie for U18 title


Ol’Aces and Sonics players battle for the rebound during their semis game in the U18 division of the Pacific Amusement/NMI Rollers Youth Basketball Tournament last Saturday at the Koblerville Gymnasium. (Kimberly a. Bautista)

The Ol’Aces and Tinian arranged their title showdown in the U18 division of the Pacific Amusement/NMI Rollers Youth Basketball Tournament after surviving their respective playoff matches last Saturday at the Koblerville Gymnasium.

Tinian triumphed against Rollers in the first Final Four game, 48-41, while the Ol’Aces defeated the Sonics in the second semis match in the division, 64-58.

Coby Santos led the Ol’Aces to victory after scoring 26 points. Jess Laniyo added 10, while Kiku Hapdei contributed 8.

Santos made 17 markers in the first half to hand the Ol’Aces a 31-28 at the halftime break.

When the game resumed, the Sonics played catch-up and even managed to tie the game at 51-all. Khristian Itaas helped the Sonics get back into the game after firing 15 points in the second half, including three triples.

However, the Ol’Aces regained the reins with Santos hitting crucial baskets and drawing help from Hapdei, Laniyo, and Andruw Omelau, who nailed 5 points in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, in the first semis match, Tinian led from start to finish to move into the title game.

Gregory Santos carried Tinian to victory with his 13 points, while Robert Reyes chipped in 12.

Jay-Ar Palmes also had 13 points on a losing effort for the Rollers, while Koboy Mizutani added 7.

Tinian and the Ol’Aces will vie for the championship trophy this Saturday at 2pm.

First Game
Tinian 48—G. Santos 13, Reyes 12, Santos 8, Borja 6, Epity 4, Long 2, Aldan 1, Cruz 2.
Rollers 41— Palmes 11, Mizutani 7, J. Cruz 5, Sablan 4, Quit 4, King 3, Villarin 2, D. Cruz 1.
Scoring by halves: 31-21, 48-41.

Second Game
Ol’Aces 64— Santos 26, Hapdei 13, Laniyo 10, Omelau 7, Tisa 5, Deleon Guerrero 4, Perez 2, Moses 2.

Sonics 58— Itaas 18, Ordona 10, Sagum 8, Contreras 6, Ferrari 6, Manalo 6, Cadag 3, Apasan 2.
Scoring by halves: 31-28, 64-58.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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