Vendetta in, Gold Ballers out


Vendetta’s James Dela Cruz, center, is fouled hard by Spigen’s Lerio Pagarao, while the latter’s teammate Gerald Aniciete looks on during the third quarter of their game in the IT&E-sponsored Ali’i Blue Haus caging last Saturday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Vendetta’s late push in the 2nd Ali’i Blue Haus Invitational Basketball League paid dividends as it advanced to the playoffs, while the Gold Ballers got the boot at the conclusion of the regular season.

Vendetta outlasted Spigen, 103-99, in a double-overtime match last Saturday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium, while the Gold Ballers also won its final elimination game against White Haus last Sunday, 110-88. With their victories, Vendetta and Gold Ballers finished the round-robin elimination with similar 5-6 records for a standoff with Spigen and Green Minded for No. 7 to No. 10 spot in the team standings.

Out of the four tied squads, only two were eligible to join Batang Bear Brand, Silencer, Black Mamba, Tropang Ridhors, White Haus, and Team Sawi to the playoff round and the last two qualifiers were determined via quotient system (total points scored in 11 games divided by total points allowed to opponents. Spigen ended up having the best quotient (1.183) among the four teams to get the No. 7 slot, while Vendetta came in at second (1.060) and took the last playoff seat, leaving Green Minded (0.923) and Gold Ballers (0.848) out of the picture.

The win over Spigen was fifth in a row for Vendetta, which seemed headed to the exit door after going 0-6.

Ed Pangelinan delivered in the second overtime for Vendetta, knocking in back-to-back triples, while Gino Libuw and James Dela Cruz drilled clutch free throws to finally end the exhausting match and bring their team to the playoffs.

Dexter Tenorio also helped Vendetta’s cause, scoring the squad’s last 6 markers in regulation, four of them came from the foul line. In the first overtime, Libuw took over, firing 6 points, while Pangelinan added a triple and Dela Cruz contributed a field goal.

Libuw exploded for 37 points, while Pangelinan, Tenorio, Dela Cruz, and Raymark Castro also hit double figures, chipping in 21, 15, 14, and 11, respectively.

Pagarao matched Libuw’s output on a losing effort for Spigen, while Sanciangco tallied 22, but did not play in the extension period due to five fouls.

Meanwhile, the Gold Ballers drew 20-plus points from three players and pulled away in the fourth to beat White Haus.

Prince Factor delivered 27 points, while Raymond Velasco and Rommel Usi registered 24 and 21, respectively.

Saturday Game
Vendetta 103 — Libuw 37, Pangelinan 21, Tenorio 16, Dela Cruz 14, Castro 11, Sablan 5.
Spigen 99 — Lerio 22, Sanciangco 22, Flores 11, Umali 11, Cortez 6, Aniciete 4, Tobias 3, Tibayan 2.
Scoring by quarters: 21-13, 47-32, 59-59, 79-79, 90-90 (1OT), 103-99 (2OT).

Sunday Game
Gold Ballers 110 — Factor 27, Velasco 24, Usi 21, Mateo 16, Avila 11, Cortes 4.
White Haus 88 — Quizon 24, Barbo 23, Mateo 14, Nonato 13, Tabora 10, Ocampo 4.
Scoring by quarters: 26-21, 51-40, 79-72, 110-88.

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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