Sonics lead Final Four cast


The 670 Sonics’ John Ferrari, left, goes for a cross pass to Khristian Itaas during a fastbreak play in their game against the Ol’Aces 2 last Saturday in the boys U18 division of the 2019 TanHoldings Christmas Basketball at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium. (roselyn B. Monroyo)

The boys U18 competition in the 2019 TanHoldings Christmas Basketball is down to the Final Four with the 670 Sonics leading the semifinalists in the division after sweeping the elimination round.

The Sonics whipped the Ol’Aces 3, 60-45, last Sunday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium to finish the round-robin elimination with a field-best 7-0 record. The Rollers 2 also played last Sunday and eased past the Rollers 3, 76-33, to join the No. 1 seed Sonics in the semifinals, as the former ended up with a 4-3 mark. The Rollers 2 and Sonics will collide this Saturday at 5pm for the first finals berth, while the other semis game at 7pm will have No. 2 seed Ol’Aces 1 (6-1) taking on No. 3 Rollers 1 (5-2).

The Rollers 3 was booted out after failing to win a single game in the short tournament, while CTSI (2-5) and the Ol’Aces 2 (2-5) and 3 (1-6) also missed the playoffs.

The Sonics defeated the Ol’Aces 3 and completed the elimination round sweep after drawing steady offensive games from Khristian Itaas and Jadeial Manalo. The Sonics’ 1-2 punch delivered double figures with Itaas making 17 and Manalo chipping in 16.

The two Sonics gunners also got a lot of support from their teammates en route to their 15-point winning margin. Four other Sonics players contributed at least two field goals apiece, while five more made it to the team’s box scores.

The Ol’Aces 3 did not have as many offensive options as the Sonics with only Craig Padayao and Anton Ogumoro consistently hitting their shots in the squad’s last game. Padayao logged 16 points, while Ogumoro added 13. Airson Atan chipped in 8, while the three other scorers for the Ol’Aces 3 were held to one field goal apiece.

In the other game in the division last Sunday, Rollers 2’s offensive firepower also proved too much for Rollers 3.

Koby Mizutani led Rollers 2’s attack with his 21 points, while Jayart Palmes registered 16, and John Paul Cruz and Darren Pangelinan recorded 11 apiece. Miizutani nailed 18 of his total output in the first half, including 11 straight points early in that period that ended with Rollers 2 way ahead, 43-14.

Rollers 2 then kept pouncing on Rollers 3 in the second half despite the big lead to complete its domination in the last elimination round game.

First Game
Sonics 60—Itaas 17, Manalo 16, Bravo 6, Ferrari 4, A. Ordona 4, Bernardo 4, Rizo 3, Cadag 3, R. Ordona 2, Elchico 2, Carvana 2.
Ol’Aces 3 45—Padayao 16, Ogumoro 13, Atan 8, Kapwich 3, Kaipat 3, Ermitanio 2,
Scoring by halves: 28-23, 60-45.

Second Game
Rollers 2 76—Mizutani 21, Palmes 16, Pangelinan 11, Pelisamen 5, Richards 5, Toves 4, Tudela 2.
Rollers 3 33—Laitan 9, Balicante 8, Mamis 8, Castro 6, Factor 2.
Scoring by quarters: 43-14, 76-33.

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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