Sixers book finals seat; GMJ/IKKI win


GMJ/IKKI guard Rodel Pastrana drives hard to the basket against a phalanx of Jacob’s Bakeshop & Barbecue defenders during their NMI Rollers Basketball Association’s Inaugural NMI Rollers Men’s Basketball Tournament game last Sunday at the Koblerville Gymnasium. (Mark Rabago)

The San Antonio Sixers advanced to the finals of the NMI Rollers Basketball Association’s Inaugural NMI Rollers Men’s Basketball Tournament after repulsing The Game last Sunday at the Koblerville Gymnasium.

The Sixers thus remained the only undefeated team in the tournament following its 90-79 romp over The Game, but more importantly got the all-important twice-to-beat advantage in the finals set for Sunday, Sept. 5.

National team hopeful Jack Aranda got the ball rolling for the Sixers as the stocky guard shot the lights out and scored 15 points in the first half, including three 3-pointers, to give his team a comfortable 42-29 spread.

Richard McWilliams tried to keep The Game’s head above water, torching defenders with 13 markers of his own that was spiked by two triples in the first 20 minutes of action.

The team from San Antonio continued to be aggressive especially on defense at the start of the second half. That plan seemed to have backfired though as Josh Andrew and Ton Laraja fouled out and Jaymark De Guzman played majority of the final 20 minutes with four fouls.

Good thing the Sixers had a wide margin and they were able to hold on to the lead with plenty to spare thanks to the all-around play of Khristian Itaas. The athletic guard took over where Aranda got off, firing 15 of his game-high 22 points in the second half to help his team advance to the championship.

Aranda back-stopped Itaas with 21 points, while Jun Fidelino added 13 markers of his own. McWilliams led The Game in the loss with 19 markers with Erik Joe adding 12 of his own.

In the first game, Ol’Aces banished Marianas Dental Center from further action following a 55-30 beatdown. The Oleai team jumped the gun on Marianas Dental from the get-go and led 28-17 after the first half before coasting to the 15-point win in the second half.

Douglas Schmidt and Coby Santos were the high-point men for Ol’Aces with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Sam Darag and Jecil Gant led Marianas Dental in their swan song with 8 markers apiece.

GMJ/IKKI also advanced to the next round after beating Jacob’s Bakeshop & Barbecue, 53-45, in Sunday’s second game. Both teams were evenly matched and it showed with Jacob’s Bakeshop taking a 1-point lead, 27-25, at the half.

They continued to pace GMJ/IKKI until the mid-portion of the second half when Rodel Pastrana started to assert himself. With the power-playing guard getting his way inside the lane en route to scoring 8 points, GMJ/IKKI was able to wrestle away the lead from Jacob’s Bakeshop and ultimately eliminated the latter from further play.

Pastrana scored 14 points in the win, while Ace Agustin chipped in 8 points. James Kintz led the way for Jacob’s Bakeshop with 13 markers.

First Game
Ol’Aces 55 – Schmidt 12, Santos 10, P. Basa 8, Castro 6, Kabiriel 6, Bondoc 4, T. Basa 3, Atan 2, Deleon Guerrero 2, Rabauliman 2, Coldeen 2.
Marianas Dental 30 – Darag 8, Gant 8, Torres 5, Dancel 4, Matos 2, Ben 1.
Scoring by halves: 28-17, 55-30.

Second Game
GMJ/IKKI 53 – Pastrana 14, A. Agustin 8, Scaño 5, Sapo 5, Galang 5, Mangali 5, Fundador 4, Hipolito 3, Reyes 2, I. Agustin 2.
Jacob’s Bakeshop & Barbecue 45 – Kintz 13, Lilues 9, Ong 8, Santos 6, Gaviola 3, Camacho 2, Perez 2, Moises 2.
Scoring by halves: 26-27, 53-45.

Third Game
San Antonio Sixers 90 – Itaas 22, Aranda 21, Fidelino 13, De Guzman 8, Laraja 7, Flores 6, Brennan 6, Andrew 5, Javier 2.
The Game 79 – McWilliams 19, Joe 12, Sagum 10, Cabaltica 7, Dayao 6, Blake 4, Arellano 4, Deleon Guerrero 3, Sablan 3.
Scoring by halves: 42-29, 90-79.

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

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