By Robert Balajadia
The Guam U16 Men’s team went on a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter to shake off Team Palau for a 73-59 win in the last game of the Micronesia Basketball Tournament before the playoffs begin on Friday.
The win moves Guam over Palau for the second seed in the tournament behind the undefeated Guam U19 team, which handed the U16 team their only loss.
The score was tied at 50 in the beginning of the fourth quarter before Guam’s Billy Belger hit a 3-point jump shot to give Guam the lead. Belger was then fouled on a 3-pointer a play later where he went to the line to sink all three to give Guam a 56-50 lead which, sparked the 12-0 run.
Team Palau had trouble responding to the run by Guam scoring just nine points in the fourth quarter after getting the jump on Guam in the early going.
Palau led 26-14 early in the second quarter but Belger scored nine of 22 points in the quarter to spark a 14-4 run. Belger sunk an and-one with his off hand to cut the lead 32-31 before teammate David Sakazaki gave Guam their first lead of the game, 33-32. Sakazaki finished with 11 points.
The third quarter was a chess match with Guam scoring 15 points to Palau’s 13 which gave Guam the 48-47 lead.
Belger scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to close out Team Palau which drops Palau to the third seed. Edward Baysa led Palau in scoring with 18 points. Both teams will play each other again on Friday to determine who moves on to the tournament championship.
(WOMEN’S) U19 GUAM 75, U16 Guam 29
In the first round of the Women’s division playoffs, the top seeded Guam U19 were once again too much for the U16 team beating them by a sizable amount to advance to the finals on Saturday.
Justine Yeban had a game high 14 points for the U19 team, hitting a bucket in every quarter. Guam U16 could not develop any offensive rhythm scoring just 10 points in the first half. They responded better in the second half scoring 10 points in the third quarter and nine in the fourth. The U19 team score over 20 points in all but the first quarter.
Felicia Borja added 10 for the U19 team who will await the winner of Palau and CNMI to decide the final game of the tournament.
Guam U19 (3-0)
Guam U16 (2-1)
Guam U19 (3-0)
Guam U16 (0-3)
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