Ol’Aces vs Rollers in U18 finals


The Ol’Aces’ Dean Blake, left, is fouled by Natibu Warriors’ Jeff Omar during the second quarter of their semis game in the boys U18 division of the Diaz youth caging last Monday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The Ol’Aces and NMI/DYS Rollers will dispute the boys U18 division title in the 2017 Francisco M. Diaz Memorial Youth League after eliminating their respective opponents last Monday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

The Ol’Aces eased their way to the finals after clobbering the Natibu Warriors in the first Final Four match, 75-42. The NMI/DYS Rollers also registered a double-digit winning margin against the 670 Sonics XVI in the second game, 64-45, to move into the title match that will be played tonight at 7pm.

The NMI/DYS Rollers managed to win by 20 points against the 670 Sonics XVI after the latter folded up in the fourth quarter. The final canto started with NMI/DYS Rollers ahead by only 5, 45-40, but the game started to slip away from the 670 Sonics XVI’s hands as the former held its foe to just two field goals in that pivotal canto. Sean Rafols and Bryan De Guzman made the two baskets for the struggling 670 Sonics XVI, while Keanu Diaz contributed only a free throw in the meltdown.

The NMI/DYS Rollers, on the other hand, drew points from nine different players to turn a close match to a double-digit win. Before pulling off in the final period, the NMI/DYS Rollers was just on top by 2 at the end of the opening canto, 13-11, and ahead by 3 at the break, 32-29.

Kenji Abobo paced the NMI/DYS Rollers with his 13 points, while Jun Fidelino added 12, and Jude Tengco tallied 9. Jun Alipio and Warren Ellama chipped in 8 apiece for the NMI/DYS Rollers’ balance scoring. Rafols led the 670 Sonics XVI with his 17 markers, while Sean Apasan was the only other player on the team to knock in more than two field goals after recording 8 points.

Meanwhile, in the first semis game, top seed and pennant champions Ol’Aces lived up to high expectations after crushing the Natibu Warriors.

The Ol’Aces had the game in the bag as early as the first quarter after they established a 23-4 lead. The Ol’Aces increased their advantage as the game progressed en route to their 13th win in as many matches this season.

Brandy Onopwy top-scored for the Ol’Aces with his 11 points, while Greg Sablan and Coby Santos also finished in twin digits with 10 apiece. Aiferson Atan, Dean Blake, Frank Bondoc, and N-Nes Siech combined for 27 more points for the Ol’Aces, who will try to keep their unbeaten record and complete its domination in the division with a victory against NMI/DYS Rollers in tonight’s title match.

First Game
Ol’Aces 75 – Onopwy 11, Sablan 10, Santos 10, Atan 8, Blake 7, Bondoc 6, Siech 6, Castro 4, Ngirarois 4, Castillo 3, Manglona 2, Kabiriel 2.
Natibu 42 – R. Sulap 12, Lifoifoi 12, H. Aguon 5, Fejeran 5, T. Sulap 2, Malwelbug 2, Kainoa 2, Garde 2, Torres 2.
Scoring by quarters: 23-4, 37-14, 55-21, 75-42.

Second Game
NMI/DYS Rollers 65 – Abobo 13, Fidelino 12, Tengco 9, Alipio 8, Ellama 8, Cobacha 5, Kisa 4, Mendoza 4, Kwon 2.
670 Sonics XVI 45 – Rafols 17, Apasan 8, Kintaro 4, De Guzman 4, Linaogo 4, Diaz 3, Magat 3.
Scoring by quarters: 13-11, 32-29, 45-40, 65-45.

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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