Saipan International School barged into the semifinal round of the middle school division of the 2017-2018 Commonwealth Coalition of Private School Association Basketball League after beating Marianas Baptist Academy, 25-12, in their playoff game last Friday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
The Geckos showed better skills and proper positioning in the paint to get point-blanked baskets en route to the 13-point winning margin.
Three straight field goals from Rintaro Miyawaki inside turned an SIS’ 3-point lead, 11-8, to a 17-8 advantage, down to the last minute and change of the third period.
A long jumper from Jasper Perez ended MBA’s long silence and gave the team its first basket in the second half. However, that was not enough to spark MBA’s rally, while SIS delivered the killer blows in the fourth canto to eliminate its foe.
Dylan Mister started the final period with a fastbreak layup off a steal, while Andy Kim and Jabez Sebastian added two more baskets for the Geckos to put the game away and join Mt. Carmel School and defending champion Agape Christian School to the semifinals.
The Knights and Torchbearers gained automatic semis tickets after placing in the Top 2 in the regular season of the seven-team competition. Mt. Carmel earned a 10-1 record in the double-round robin elimination and had one rained-out game, which it did not play as it had no bearing to the rankings. Agape, which handed Mt. Carmel its lone loss in the regular season, posted an 8-2 slate with two rained-out matches.
SIS and MBA, on the other hand, had to play in the quarterfinals after finishing at No. 4 and 5, respectively, in the team standings. SIS had an even 4-4 slate with four rained-out matches, while MBA held a 4-5 card with three rained-out games.
Meanwhile, the last semis slot will be contested today by Grace Christian Academy and Seventh Day Adventist. The Eagles were ranked third after the elimination with their 8-3 slate (one rained-out match), while SDA booked the final ticket to the playoff round after placing at No. 6 with its 2-10 mark. Saipan Community School finished last in the league with its 0-11 record to get the boot.
The winner in the SDA-GCA tiff will challenge Agape in the second semis game tomorrow at 4:30pm, while Mt. Carmel will duel SIS in the first Final Four match, also set for Tuesday at 3:30pm.