Shirley’s sets up duel vs Fiesta for finals slot


Shirley’s Coffee Shop’s John Jugos, center, drives against Fiesta’s Elmer Esdrelon, left, and Arjay Nonato during their earlier playoff game in the Tan Holdings caging at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Shirley’s Coffee Shop crushed JP Mambas, 57-38, in the playoff game in the 2016 Tan Holdings Inter-Company Basketball League last Friday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium to remain in contention for the last finals berth.

Shirley’s will face defending champion Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan this Friday for a spot in the finale, while JP Mambas has been eliminated. The winner of Shirley’s-Fiesta duel will challenge Kanoa Resort in the title game. Kanoa had earlier secured the first finals berth and will have a twice-to-beat advantage in the championship round after pounding Fiesta in the winner’s bracket semifinals, 77-55.

Aaron Pamintuan made sure Shirley’s will still have a chance for the second finals ticket after knocking in the early triples that allowed his team to gain a sizeable lead against JP Mambas. He scored Shirley’s first 8 points, including back-to-back treys and then drained three more shots from the parking lot in consecutive fashion midway in the opening canto.

Pamintuan, who hit most of his outside shots as JP Mambas defense or the lack of it gave him more time and space to eye his target, recorded all his 19 points in the first half, lifting Shirley’s to a 34-17 halftime advantage. Shirley’s doubled up JP Mambas after 20 minutes of play as the former capped the opening half with two straight triples—one each from Isaiah Bordon and John Jugos.

Jugos brought his good shooting in the early minutes of the second half, as he fired Shirley’s first 5 markers to keep their safe lead. The rest of Jugos teammates also hit several easy shots in the second half as JP Mambas continued to give the opposing squad open looks at the basket.

Shirley’s finished off JP Mambas by burying three consecutive triples—two from Deion Sabino and one more from Bordon. Shirley’s had a total of 11 triples in the match, while JP Mambas posted only one.

Meanwhile, Fiesta will have the psychological edge in its make-or-break game against Shirley’s this weekend, having beaten the latter in their first three meetings.

Shirley’s 57 — Pamintuan 19, Pollisco 9, Jugos 8, Sabino 6, Bordon 6, Nicdao 5, Catungal 4.

JP Mambas 38 — Ong 11, De La Torre 8, Raho 6, Rabago 5, Calibo 4, Chan 4.

Scoring by halves: 34-17, 57-38.

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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