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KNIGHTS WIN OT THRILLER

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By Robert Balajadia

Warriors Sheik Carino and Knights Argie Flores fighting for the loose ball in the closing seconds of the game which turned out to be a fast break layup by Knights TJ Atalig. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Warriors Sheik Carino and Knights Argie Flores fighting for the loose ball in the closing seconds of the game which turned out to be a fast break layup by Knights TJ Atalig. (photo by Jesse Castro)

St. John’s Argie Flores has hit many big shots for the Knights all season but none bigger than the three-pointer that sent them into overtime where the Knights defeated the St. Paul Warriors 60-57 at the JFK gym Tuesday night, advancing them to the championship game this Saturday.

Warriors Brian Tsujii was fouled by Knights Reed Meyer when trying to steal the ball with 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Warriors up 53-51.  Tsujii was unable to shoot the free throws leaving Warriors Adrian Manansala at the line to ice the game.  Manansala missed the first and made the second extending the lead 54-51.

Flores took the inbound pass after the timeout and knew from the minute he stepped on the court that the shot was his to make.  Teammate TJ Atalig set a high screen that Flores used to get a good enough look at a shot, letting the three-pointer fly between two Warriors defenders and sinking it with 5.5 seconds left on the clock.  Flores ecstatically clenched his fists and roared at the Knights crowd in excitement.  Flores led all scorers with 24 points.

McDonald's player of the game: Knights; Argie Flores. 23 points

McDonald’s player of the game: Knights’ Argie Flores. 23 points

“Coach always tells me to take the best available shot and [TJ] gave me a good screen which opened me up.  I just pulled up and it felt good when I shot it and it sank in.  Coach put the ball in my hands and tells me that it’s my team and I have to carry them so I figured the best possible shot was that one right there,” stated Flores on the biggest shot of the game.

The overtime was much like the closing seconds of the fourth quarter with both teams scraping for points in a very physical game.

St. John’s were holding on to a 58-57 lead with 12 seconds left in the overtime when the Warriors turned to John San Andres in the post where Meyer and teammate Cedric Sevilla managed to swipe the ball away.

Flores took the ball off the blocked shot but was met by Warriors’ Sheik Carino immediately, who poked the ball away which forced a scramble.  Carino gained control but before he could dish it off to his teammate Flores stuck his hand underneath the ball, knocking it away to a wide open Atalig who sprinted to the bucket for the game ending layup as the buzzer expired.

Knights Reed Meyer and Cedric Sevilla denying Warriors John San Andres an easy layup that would have given the Warriors the lead in overtime. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Knights Reed Meyer and Cedric Sevilla denying Warriors John San Andres an easy layup that would have given the Warriors the lead in overtime. (photo by Jesse Castro)

“I was just trying to find myself in a better position to recover after that quick turnover.  I saw that [Carino] was struggling on the floor with the ball and the path was just open and I just took it.  I thought I got fouled on the layup and I didn’t know the game was over but I was happy that the game was over,” stated Atalig on the game sealing layup.

The Knights carried the momentum into the overtime with Flores scoring the first basket.  Warriors Sheik Carino poked the ball away from Flores in the opening minutes but missed the fast break lay-up that would have given the Warriors the lead still trailing 56-55. St. Paul never led in the overtime.

St. John’s quickly changed the pace of the game holding the ball for 40+ seconds bringing the game clock to its final minute while hanging on to a 58-57 before the last second scramble.

The Knights were down by as many as seven points to begin the fourth quarter after a dominating performance by Warriors’ John San Andres, who scored eight straight points for his team to put them up 49-43 with four minutes in the game.  San Andres finished with 20 points.

Knights’ Daniel Del Carmen kept his team in the game by hitting back-to-back three pointers during San Andres’ scoring stretch, not allowing the Warriors to run away with the game.

Knights center Reed Meyer was asked if beating the Warriors in the regular season gave them confidence to win and Meyer responded saying, “This was a brand new game, we knew they were going to come out for blood.  We just needed to make sure we responded.”

St. John’s trailed by as many as 10 points in the game which was the halftime score 25-15.  Del Carmen chipped in with 13 points for the Knights while Carino finished with 21 points to lead the Warriors.

The top seeded Friars also took a spill which will set up a championship game featuring the St. John’s Knights and the Okkodo Bulldogs.

The championship game can be seen in its entirety live on Saturday March 16, streaming directly from the website GSPN! (www.guamsportsnetwork.com)

Okkodo Bulldogs 62, FD Friars 45

Bulldogs outscore Friars 23-7 in the 4th quarter

 

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PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

http://www.akguam.com/ou/tamuning-scion/

Knights Daniel Del Carmen got a big block on Warriors Jason Aquino in the fourth quarter. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Knights Daniel Del Carmen got a big block on Warriors Jason Aquino in the fourth quarter. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Knights Cedric Sevilla driving in on the St. Paul Warriors. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Knights Cedric Sevilla driving in on the St. Paul Warriors. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Knights TJ Atalig attempting a floater over Warriors Brian Tsujii. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Knights TJ Atalig attempting a floater over Warriors Brian Tsujii. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Warriors John San Andres getting a tough layup to go past Knights Reed Meyer and Cedric Sevilla. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Warriors John San Andres getting a tough layup to go past Knights Reed Meyer and Cedric Sevilla. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Knights Argie Flores was hitting almost everything despite good defense from Jason Aquino and the St. Paul Warriors. (photo be Jesse Castro)

Knights Argie Flores was hitting almost everything despite good defense from Jason Aquino and the St. Paul Warriors. (photo be Jesse Castro)

 

WATCH THE KNIGHTS AND BULLDOGS LIVE ON WWW.GUAMSPORTSNETWORK.COM SATURDAY NIGHT AT 7 P.M.

 

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