Shirley’s Diaz 3 nips Islander in OT

Posted on Jan 20 2020


Shirley’s Coffee Shop point guard Jack Aranda drives to the basket against a couple of Islander Rent A Car defenders during their open division game in the UFO caging last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Mark Rabago)

Many time national player Ed Diaz hit a 3-pointer with 7.9 seconds left in overtime to allow Shirley’s Coffee Shop to escape Islander Rent A Car, 105-102, in the open division of the United Filipino Organization IT&E 2019 Basketball League last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

Sharpshooter Rodel Pastrana earlier knotted the score at 102-all with a booming triple with 23 ticks remaining, but rather than panic, Shirley’s calmly brought the ball down to their front court before it found its way to Diaz, who nonchalantly rose up for the winning triple.

Islander Rent A Car tried to equalize with a Hail Mary of their own in the waning seconds, but their prayers weren’t answered.

It was a sorry loss for Islander Rent A Car, which absorbed its second loss in six games, while Shirley’s zoomed to its third straight win to improve its win-loss slate to 4-2 in the open division.

Islander Rent A Car actually got off to a good start as Pastrana and Elgene Mangali combined for 15 points in the opening quarter to give their team a 22-16 advantage against Shirley’s.

Diaz and Matt Duenas, however, would lead a Shirley’s uprising at the start of the second quarter. With Diaz unloading 9 points and Duenas adding 8 markers, Shirley’s managed to turn the tables on Islander Rent A Car and entered the halftime break ahead by a deuce, 46-44.

The game continued to be a nip-and-tuck affair at the start of the third quarter with neither team giving up any quarter.

Mac Mintac fired 7 points in the period, ably supported by two hits from downtown by Mangali as Islander Rent A Car took precarious 1-point lead going into the final 10 minutes of the contest, 70-69.

The match was anybody’s ballgame until the midway point of the fourth quarter, when Shirley’s unleashed a fiery run that saw them erect an 89-79 lead—capped by a 3-pointer by Diaz—with four minutes left.

But Islander Rent A Car wouldn’t go down without a fight, as they quickly rallied back and a 4-point play by Pastrana—a triple and a technical for clapping against a defender—moved them within 5 points, 88-93, with time down to 2:19.

A block on Shirley’s center Dennis Mendiola moments later would lead to a fastbreak layup by Pastrana that made it 90-93. After another foiled Shirley’s offensive, Pastrana would be fouled and convert 1-2 from the line to make it just a 2-point lead.

Both teams would exchange turnovers and fruitless heaves on the basket before Islander Rent A Car guard J.R. Barrios was fouled and he coolly sank both free throws to send the game into overtime.

In the extra 5 minutes of play, Freddie Pelisamen relived his fireman days by scoring 7 quick points, but Islander Rent A Car answered all of them with Pastrana’s 3 seemingly sending the game into a second overtime. That is until Diaz had had enough and sank the tie-breaking rainbow.

“I just wanted to finish the game so I shot the 3. I’m 45 years old already and can’t play long games like this anymore,” Diaz said shortly after hitting the game-winner.

He wound up with 28 points and for his game-long performance, the Marianas Visitors Authority staff took home best player of the game honors. Pelisamen backed him up with 25 markers, while point guard Jack Aranda fired 15.

Pastrana saw his 40-point outing end in an OT loss. Islander Rent A Car also drew 15 and 14 points, respectively, from Mangali and Mintac.

In last Thursday’s open division matchup between Team Lakay and Pacific Islands Club Saipan, the former leaned of the heroics of Richard William to prevail 83-72.

William finished with 24 points to earn best player of the game honors as Team Lakay won its first game in five tries. PIC, which dropped to 0-4, was paced by the 22 points of James Abuy.

Team Lakay 83 – William 24, Capalad 18, Bernardo 10, Alegre 5, Cabrera 5, Reyes 4, Solis 4, Raho 3, Macaraig 2, Lumen 2, Toribio 2.
PIC 72 – Abuy 22, Castro 14, Ken 13, Dan 13, Bartolo 4, Agustin 4, Sublemente 2.
Scoring by quarters: 8-18, 31-41, 59-55, 83-72.

Shirley’s Coffee Shop 105 – Diaz 28, Pelisamen 25, Aranda 15, Mendiola 15, Flores 10, Duenas 9, Sablan 4.
Islander Rent A Car 102 – Pastrana 40, Mangali 15, Mintac 14, Jandoc 13, Quan 8, Barrios 7, Torres 5.
Scoring by quarters: 16-22, 46-44, 69-70, 93-93, 105-102, OT.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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