POI prevails in TanHoldings caging opener

POI Aviation’s Ferdie Arago pulls up for a shot in front of the defense of Saipan Tribune’s Almond Edralin during the first half of their game in the opening week of the TanHoldings caging last Saturday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

POI Aviation drew first blood in the 2017 Tan Holdings Inter-Company Basketball League after beating Saipan Tribune, 62-56, last Saturday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.

POI paraded a loaded roster, allowing the team to take control of the match right from the get-go, while Saipan Tribune struggled to counter with its lack of manpower.

Ferdie Arago led POI’s debut win after scoring 17 points, including three of the squad’s first four field goals. With Arago on target early, POI built a 9-0 advantage and never relinquished the upper hand from thereon, leading by as much as 16 in the second half.

Arago ended up with 12 points in the first half, while Jon Bait came off the bench and chipped in 8, 6 came from downtown, to lift POI to a 30-24 lead.

Saipan Tribune fell behind by 14 in the first half, but managed to cut the deficit to a decent number after the first 20 minutes of play, thanks to Almond Edralin’s baskets. Edralin nailed 13 points in the opening half and drew some support from Dela Torre, who added 6.

Edralin continued his hot shooting in the second half, but it was not enough to bring his team back in the game, as POI spread the wealth, drawing baskets from multiple players to keep its safe distance. Edralin had a game-high 30 markers on a losing effort.

Meanwhile, two more games were played in the opening week of the TanHoldings caging with defending champion Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan battling Shirley’s Coffee Shop in the second match and CTSI/D&Q Warriors facing Kanoa Resort in the night cap. Results of these games will be reported later this week.

POI 62 — Arago 17, Bait 12, Santos 10, Paran 6, Tenepere 3, R. Kim 3, Yu 2, Deleon Guerrero 2, Villaluna 2, Mendiola 2.
Saipan Tribune 56 — Edralin 30, De La Torre 9, Rabago 7, Lapuz 6, Calibo 2, Pagarao 2.
Scoring by halves: 30-24, 62-56.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez has been covering local and international sports events for more than 15 years. His sports writing career started when he joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, when he was in college.

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