Warriors take down Suns in U12


The Golden State Warriors players and coaching staff pose with their medals after winning the U12 division of the 2021 NMI Rollers Summer Bash last Sunday at the Koblerville Gymnasium. (Contributed Photo)

The 2021 NMI Rollers Summer Bash definitely borrowed the names of NBA teams and the U12 finals saw the Golden State Warriors nip the Phoenix Suns for the championship at the Koblerville Gymnasium.

The Suns managed to force a winner-take-all Game 2 after upsetting the Warriors in the first game, 17-13, earlier in the day. However, the Warriors just had enough chutzpah in the second game to eke out a 12-11 win to claim the U12 championship.

Percy Barbo and Liam Sablan tag-teamed all game long in the clincher with 6 points apiece to pace coach Mike Mercado’s team, while the 5 markers and 13 monster rebounds of Suns center Kobe Viola paced the runners-up. Barbo also had 2 rebounds and 2 steals for the victors.

The rest of the Warriors was made up of Dave Apatang Jr., Ed Manibusan Jr, Liam Tomokane, and Jason Sue, while aside from Viola, the Suns roster included Hunter Dela Cruz, Payton Pangelinan, Lance Laxama, Collin Maratita, and Venice Enriquez.

Mercado said he’s thrilled for his players for gutting it out in the do-or-die second game and rising from the challenge after the sorry loss in the first game.

“The kids gave it their all. As a coach, it was not the win that was rewarding but it was the fact that the players pay attention to your instructions and court plays. The championship is just the icing on the cake,” he said. The Warriors’ assistant coach was T.J. Factor.

In the first game of the U12 finals played earlier, Viola scored 8 points and Laxama added 4 as the Suns forced the rubber match with the aforementioned 4-point win. Warriors, who topped the eliminations, were led by the 6 markers of Barbo in that match.

Results of the U9 division of the 2021 NMI Rollers Summer Bash will be published in the next issues of Saipan Tribune.

First Game
Phoenix Suns 17 – Viola 8, Laxama 4, Enriquez 3, Pangelinan 2.

Golden State Warriors 13 – Barbo 6, Sablan 5, Apatang 2.

Second Game
Golden State Warriors 12 – Barbo 6, Sablan 6.

Phoenix Suns 11 – Viola 5, Enriquez 4, Maratita 2.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at Mark_Rabago@saipantribune.com

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