Shirley’s Coffee Shop takes last semis seat

Shirley’s Coffee Shop’s John Jugos, right, drives against POI Aviation’s Lawrence Deleon Guerrero during their second round game in the 2017 Tan Holdings Inter-Company Basketball League at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Shirley’s Coffee Shop advanced to the semifinals of the 2017 Tan Holdings Inter-Company Basketball League after winning the tiebreak against POI Aviation.

POI and Shirley’s finished the double-round robin elimination with similar 4-6 records to place behind early semis qualifiers Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan (10-0), Kanoa (7-3), and Saipan Tribune (5-5). To break the tie and decide the winner of the fourth and last semis berth, league organizers implemented a point system, dividing the total points scored by total points allowed.

In 10 games, Shirley’s earned 606 points and yielded 631 for a quotient of 0.96, just 0.05 ahead of POI, which collected 582 points and gave up 637.

The last game in the elimination round proved to be a crucial factor in Shirley’s and POI’s semis chances. Both teams dropped their matches last Friday, but Shirley’s fell behind by only 5 points against Fiesta Resort (70-65), while POI lost to Saipan Tribune by 11, 47-58.

With Shirley’s winning the tiebreak and the last semis ticket that went with the victory, the squad earned the right to challenge unbeaten Fiesta in the first Final Four game tomorrow. Saipan Tribune and Kanoa will play in the second semis match.

Kanoa will enter the semis tiff coming off a tough 60-55 win over the Lower Base Warriors.

The second-ranked squad played without main gunner Douglas Schmidt, leaving Dindo Pablo the task to carry the cudgels for Kanoa. Pablo responded to the challenge by exploding for 30 points and leading Kanoa’s come-from-behind victory.

Kanoa stared at a 4-point deficit at the break, 32-36, but turned the tables on Lower Base in the second half, thanks to Pablo’s hot shooting. The veteran guard scored 11 straight points in the second half, including three triples to lead Kanoa’s fightback. Benjie Sison then provided the finishing touches in Kanoa’s complete recovery after drilling 5 of the squad’s last 9 markers. Lowell Lumauag and Moises De Arroz tallied the two other field goals for Kanoa, which is hoping for Schmidt’s return in its make-or-break game against Saipan Tribune tomorrow.

Kanoa Resort 60 — Pablo 30, Sison 9, Bustillo 7, Encarnacion 7, Lumauag 5, De Arroz 2.

Lower Base 56 — Jinang 18, Riungel 13, Fujihira 10, W. Benavente 5, J. Benavente 4, Kenty 4, Alegre 2.

Scoring by halves: 32-36, 60-56.

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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