Ol’Aces vs Kagman in U18 finals


The Ol’Aces’ Ignacio Borja, center, goes up for a shot against the 670 Sonics’ Mike Espinosa, left, and Djay March Ong during their semis game in the Diaz youth caging last Wednesday night at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The Ol’Aces and Kagman Rizers eased past their semis opponents to arrange their title duel in the U18 division of the Inaugural Frank M. Diaz Memorial Youth League.

The Ol’Aces moved into the finals first following a 72-55 upset over the top-ranked 670 Sonics last Wednesday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium, while Kagman defeated Rollers Blue, 75-59, yesterday to march into the winner-take-all championship game that will be played today at 5pm.

Kagman saved the best for last to cruise to the 16-point win against Rollers Blue. The second finalist was ahead by only 6 at the end of the third period, 53-47, when Melvin Sakisat anchored the breakaway, scoring 10 points in the fourth canto, including 6 straight in the final half of that pivotal quarter.

Rollers Blue, which stayed in the game in the first half and even took a 31-29 halftime lead, was limited to five field goals in the fourth-period slowdown. Jun Alipio, who finished the third frame with 16 points, was out of the picture in the fourth and only Angelo Factor made more than two baskets for Rollers Blue.

Sakisat, on the other hand, drew enough support from his teammates to pull away in the last 10 minutes of play. Sakisat scored a game-high 24 points.

Meanwhile, in the first semis game, the Ol’Aces set up the easy win after outgunning the 670 Sonics in the first five minutes of the third period.

Up by only 5 after the first half, 39-34, the Ol’Aces went on a 13-2 scoring surge capped by Jerald Castillo’s corner triple to bring the lead to double figures, 52-36.

Mike Arciaga made the lone field goal for the Sonics in their early collapse in the second half and the regular season top finishers did not recover from thereon, as Ol’Aces big men Napu Atalig and Ignacio Borja took the cudgels for their team in the fourth canto to keep their safe distance.

Atalig paced the Ol’Aces with his 13 markers, matching Aiten Aiferson’s output. Greg Sablan and Ignacio Borja also finished in twin digits with 12 and 11, respectively. Djay March Ong led the 670 Sonics with his 13 points.

Wednesday Game
Ol’Aces 72—Atalig 13, Aiferson 13, Sablan 12, I. Borja 11, E. Borja 8, N-nes 6, Kabiriel 4, Castillo 3, Olopai 2.

670 Sonics 55—Ong 13, Arciaga 12, Fidelino 6, Rios 6, Castro 4, Kintato 3, Flores 2, Espinosa 2, Esmundo 2.

Scoring by quarters: 17-17, 39-34, 62-42, 72-55.

Thursday Game
Kagman Rizerz 75 — Sakisat 24, Blake 13, Muna 9, Palino 8, Jones 4, Jepehn 4, Tenorio 2, Magofna 2.

Rollers Blue 59 — Factor 17, Alipio 13, Ogumoro 12, Agulto 3, Tengco 3, Arceo 2.

Scoring by quarters: 17-17, 29-31, 53-47, 75-69.

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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