Sweep for M&M Salas Ol’Aces

An M&M Salas Ol’Aces player, center, drives against two Kanoa Resort defenders during an earlier game in the 2017 TanHoldings Christmas Basketball Tournament. The Ol’Aces finished the regular season undefeated following a 75-38 rout of Saipan Vegas Extreme last Wednesday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

M&M Salas Ol’Aces earned a clean slate in the elimination round of the 2017 TanHoldings Christmas Basketball Tournament following a 75-38 demolition of Saipan Vegas Extreme last Wednesday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.

M&M Salas Ol’Aces finished the round-robin elims with a 7-0 record to clinch the No. 1 seeding in the four-team playoffs, while Saipan Vegas Extreme bowed out of the competition winless in seven matches.

Four M&M Salas Ol’Aces players scored in double figures to hand their team another easy victory. Center Dean Blake had a game-high 16 points, while point guard N-Nes Siech chipped in 11, and Coby Santos and Kevin Kabiriel contributed 10 apiece.

The M&M Salas Ol’Aces-Saipan Vegas Extreme was a no contest right after the first few minutes of the opening half as the former jumped the gun en route to a commanding 45-16 halftime edge. Blake dropped 10 of his total points in the first quarter, while Siech and Kabiriel recorded 9 and 8 markers, respectively

Despite the big lead, M&M Salas Ol’Aces showed no mercy to Saipan Vegas Extreme in the second half, as other players of the eventual winning team also hit their target in that period to complete their lopsided victory.

Meanwhile, in the women’s division game, Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan and GSM Lady Ol’Aces posted contrasting wins.

Fiesta Resort prevailed against IT&E by 6 points, 37-21, while GSM blew out Shirley’s Coffee Shop, 78-13.

GSM now has an 8-0 record, moving two victories away from sweeping the two-round robin eliminations, while Shirley’s is still winless after eight matches.

Eleina Santos nearly doubled Shirley’s total output after registering a game-high 22 points to extend GSM’s winning run to eight. Alliyah Fernandez was the other GSM player to score in twin digits with her 12.

In the other women’s division game, Fiesta Resort played better in the second half to beat IT&E, which led by a hair at the break, 16-15.

Irish Pagarao showed up in the second half for Fiesta Resort and lifted their team to the win after logging 12 points. Earlier in the first half, Krizel Tuazon held the forth in absence of Pagarao, as the former scored 9 straight points, while Guine Borja knocked in back-to-back baskets to end the period with Fiesta Resort behind by only one.

With the win, Fiesta Resort (6-2) eliminated IT&E (2-6) and gave idle CTSI (4-4) and Marianas Variety (4-4) early entry to the semifinals with all teams still having two games each left in their schedule.

Second Game
Fiesta Resort 37 — Pagarao 12, Tuazon 9, Borja 6, Joyce 4, Costales 2, Millare 2.
IT&E 31 — Lumabi 13, Garon 8, Marasigan 5, Ocampo 3, Pena 2.
Scoring by halves: 15-16, 37-31.

Third Game
GSM Lady Ol’Aces 78 — E. Santos 22, Fernandez 12, Deleon Guerrero 8, An. Santos 6, C. Camacho 6, D. Camacho 4, Al. Santos 4, S. Camacho 4, Kenty 2, Rangamar 2.
Shirley’s Coffee Shop 13 — Francisco 8, Castillo 3, Santos 2.
Scoring by halves: 34-5, 78-13.

Fourth Game
M&M Salas Ol’Aces 75 — Blake 16, Siech 11, Kabiriel 10, Santos 10, Bondoc 8, Sacdalan 6, Abejo 5, Peter 4, Atan 2.
Saipan Vegas Extreme 38 — Atan 8, Laniyo 7, Okaruru 5, Johnny 4, Menchor 4, King 3, Mizutani 2, Tisa 2.
Scoring by halves: 45-16, 75-38.

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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