SBL hands title to CK Bears

The Chalan Kanoa Bears’ A.J. Lizama takes his time before pitching against the Mariners during a regular season game in the 2018 Saipan Baseball League at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield. (Jon Perez)

The Chalan Kanoa Bears are the champions in the 2018 Saipan Baseball League.

“The SBL board met yesterday (last Wednesday) and by majority, the championship was awarded to the CK Bears,” league coordinator Tony Rogolifoi told Saipan Tribune.

The Bears took the opener of their best-of-five title series against Go See Mark, 8-5, last Oct. 22 or a few days before Super Typhoon Yutu slammed Saipan and Tinian. The Category 5 typhoon left the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield unplayable with the bleacher crumpled, the bases and ground washed out, and the lights and nets broken.

Rogolifoi, who is also the executive director of Northern Marianas Sports Association that manages the “Tan Ko” field and other facilities inside the Oleai Sports Complex, said it will take a while to fix the massive damage left by Yutu so there’s no away that SBL could resume the title series.

With the Bears taking the finals win, they completed their domination of the 2018 season as they also got the pennant title this year. The Bears earned a 17-1 record in the double-round robin regular season. The 17 victories came in streak and were recorded after the Bears dropped their first game in the season against the dethroned champions Aces, 4-14.

The Bears suffered their only defeat last March 9 before sweeping the remaining games in the elimination round and keeping their run in the semis after finishing off the Aces. The Bears eked out a 6-4 victory in Game 1 and then completed the sweep with a 10-7 triumph in Game 2.

GSM also took only two matches to move into the title series. It edged the Mariners in Game 1, 8-6, and closed out the semis showdown with an even tougher 9-8 triumph in Game 2.

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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