Shirley’s, IT&E top opponents

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Shirley’s Coffee Shop’s Matt Duenas, third left, receives the Best Player of the Game prize and is joined in the group photo by organizers of the United Filipino Organization and IT&E 2019 Open and Master Basketball League last Thursday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Contributed Photo)

Shirley’s Coffee Shop and IT&E downed their respective foes in the United Filipino Organization and IT&E 2019 Open and Master Basketball League last Thursday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
In the Open Division game, Shirley’s eased past Saipan Vegas, 98-70, while IT&E topped Pacific Marine, 71-54, in the Masters Division match.

Both Shirley’s and IT&E managed to earn double-digit margins after pulling away in the third quarter.

Ahead by only 7 after the first half, 41-34, Shirley’s opened a 72-48 lead going into the fourth quarter after getting contributions from young guns Jack Aranda, Matt Duenas, and Greg Sablan in the third period. Aranda scored 9 points in the pivotal third frame, while Sablan and Duenas added 8 and 7 markers, respectively.

Shirley’s continued to pile up points in the fourth quarter to keep its big margin, 98-70, as Sablan and Duenas were still on target, logging 8 markers apiece in the final canto.

Duenas finished with a game-high 23 points, while Aranda chipped in 21, and Sablan registered 19.

Brian Natividad led Saipan Vegas’ losing cause with his 21 points.

Meanwhile, in the Masters Division game, Sonny Lerio scored 9 of his 19 points in the third quarter, turning a 36-27 halftime lead for IT&E into a 58-39 advantage, going into the fourth period.

IT&E maintained its safe distance for a winning debut in the league.

First Game
Shirley’s Coffee Shop 98—Duenas 23, Aranda 21, Sablan 19, Jugos 15, Mendiola 11, Palma 5, George 2.
Saipan Vegas 70—Natividad 21, Cristobal 13, Galarse 10, Usi 7, Tenepere 7, Sahagun 7, Del Castillo 5.
Scoring by quarters: 21-13, 41-34, 72-48, 98-70.

Second Game
IT&E 71—Tenorio 19, Lerio 15, Joyner 8, Poquiz 7, Zapata 6, Pena 5, Viola 5, Masga 3, Bucalia 2, Ordas 1.
Pacific Marine 54—Guilas 15, Atineon 14, Isip 10, Pacman 4, Genizal 4, Ducusin 3, Mariancan 2, Landicho 2, Domingo 2.
Scoring by quarters: 13-15, 36-27, 58-39, 71-54.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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