Shirley’s Coffee Shop eked out a 56-54 win over POI Aviation in the 2020 TanHoldings Inter-Company Basketball League at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.
The close win in the March 13 game gave Shirley’s a 2-0 record and a share of the lead with Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, while POI dropped its season debut in the competition, which has been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before the league was halted, Shirley’s managed to make a follow-up on its 54-47 triumph over D&Q Saipan by nosing out the debuting POI.
It was a come-from-behind victory for Shirley’s, as the team faced a 28-32 deficit at halftime before Junar Guiab and John Jugos teamed up in the second half to hand the squad back-to-back wins. Guiab scored 7 points in the final 20 minutes of play, including the go-ahead basket in the tough match. Jugos, on the other hand, registered 15 markers in the final half, 9 of them came from the 3-point area. Duncan Laxa and Seth Alonzo were the two other Shirley’s players who hit the board in the second half with the former adding 4 points and the latter chipping in 2.
POI Aviation lost the driver’s seat in the second half and eventually the game, as Webster Taracatac slowed down on offense in the payoff period. After delivering 11 points in the first half, including 9 straight late in that frame, Taracatac was held to one field goal in the second half.
With Taracatac struggling, POI Aviation looked for other options on offense, but no other players stepped up. The best that the team could get was the two field goals apiece from Anthony Dela Cruz and Jesse Kalen, while Jugos and Guiab were on target to steal the win for Shirley’s.
Jugos led all scorers with his 22 points, while Guiab also finished in twin digits after contributing 12. Laxa added 8 points.
Taracatac tallied 16 points for POIC, while Isael Saito made 11, and Kalen recorded 9.
Shirley’s 56—Jugos 22, Guiab 12, Laxa 8, Alonzo 5, Abella 5, Nicdao 4.
POI Aviation 54—Taracatac 16, Saito 11, Kalen 9, Dela Cruz 5, Kosam 5, Pascul 2, Mendiola 2, Yu 2, Tenepere 2.
Scoring by halves: 28-32, 56-54.