Hyatt’s Jun Alipio was slapped with a technical foul after almost starting a fight following a hard foul on Vinas with less a minute to go in the contest. Cooler heads intervened to prevent the tightly fought match into turning to a virtual free-for-all.
World Resort thus sent defending champion Hyatt to an early vacation and will now face Pacific Islands Club in Thursday’s 7:30pm first game. In the other match, Kanoa Resort will take on Fiesta Resort at 9:30pm.
The winners of both contests will further boost their chances of advancing into the semifinal round.
Vinas scored 6 of World Resort’s 8 straight points early in the third quarter to move his team within 1 after trailing 19-28 at halftime.
But Hyatt countered with its own scoring spurt with Christian De Vero and Shaj Hussain combining for 9 consecutive markers for a 37-27 advantage.
Vinas, however, was a man on a mission and made 7 more points for World Resort in a 14-7 exchange to keep the game close, 41-44, entering the final quarter.
Vinas then led his team’s strong finishing kick with World Resort outscoring Hyatt, 29-20, in the payoff period to complete the hard-earned win.
The do-it-all guard led World Resort’s scoring with 24 points, while Eugene Manglona and John Lewis chipped in 14 and 10 markers, respectively.
Hussain paced Hyatt with 22 points with De Vero and Gino Libuw combining for 24 markers.
Saipan World Resort 70 – Vinas 24, Manglona 14, Lewis 10, Bernardo 7, Caruana 7, Danas 6, Valle 2.
Hyatt 64 – Hussain 22, De Vero 12, Libuw 12, Alipio 9, Vargas 6, Lim 3.
Scoring by quarters: 8-11, 19-28, 41-44, 70-64. (Jon Perez)