📅18 August 2012
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By Regina Shiroma

Falcons’ Phillip Taijeron takes it up hard to the rim during his late game surge to aid in the win. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

The defending champs, the Northern All-Stars, were dethroned Friday night by the MTM Falcons in their championship bout in the 18-and-under division of the 2012 Summer Jamz basketball tournament. The Falcons slid past the All-Stars 45-42 in the final game of the tournament at the Tamuning gym.

Both teams hustled after every loose ball, displayed spectacular defense, and performed well on the offensive, dishing out a great game for spectators. As a result of the playing field being evenly matched, it was a close ball game all night.

“We just try to play hard D, try not to foul and set up our feet. We just slowed down our offense and put pressure on the ball to scare them; pressure them off; get them frustrated,” said Rashaun Blas.

Down 19-15 at the half, the All-Stars Reed Meyer put up back-to-back baskets in the opening minutes of the second to take a small two-point lead. A play later, the Falcons Airan Solangan stole the ball and put it right back up  to tie the game at 22-all. Daniel Del Carmen shot his third, out of a total of four, three-pointer for the All-Stars to take the 25-22 lead. However, the Falcons’ Glen Gogue answered right back with a three of his own, tying the game once again. Tyler Tynaka threw in one more trey in the ensuing play, allowing the All-Stars to take back the lead.

Northern All Stars’ Reed Meyer skies for the fast break layup while Falcons’ Rashaun Blas and Glen Gogue could not get back in time to contest. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

This time around, the Falcons were down by one with less than a minute left in the game. With Blas up at the free-throw line, the Falcons took a one point lead as he sunk both shots.

The All-Stars tried desperately to gain possession, but the Falcons proved to be too much as they rebounded to maintain possession of the ball. Committing a few more fouls for possession, the All-Stars were granted their wish. Down 45-42, the All-Stars threw up one last shot to try and tie the game, however the trey came up short and the buzzer went off.

The Falcons clapped their hands in satisfaction in earning the title for the first time for the Falcons.

Blas, the IIAAG Most Valuable Player, took home another MVP, as he was awarded MVP of  the tournament and was also the top scorer in the 18-and-under division with 142 points all season, averaging 15.77 points per game.

In the 25-and-under championship match, the Tamuning Typhoons defeated the DLX All-Stars 51-49. Edgardo Baza was voted the MVP for the league in the 25-and-under division. Joe Blas was the top scorer for the league with 185 points and averaged 18.5 points per game.

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