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SPARTANS EDGE PAST VERITAS

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By Niko Bulaon

Veritas' Dominic Salenga scores the fast break layup. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Veritas’ Dominic Salenga scores the fast break layup. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

With a rocky start, the Santa Barbara Spartans grab the win over the Dominican Veritas, winning 18-15.

The start of the fourth brought determination for both teams: trying to beat the other in a head-to-head battle. With the score of 13-15 lighting the boards, Spartans Anthony Susim capitalized on a hard layup, tying the game and bringing his team’s aggressiveness to a higher level. But the struggle to stay on top didn’t dwindle as the Veritas fought back with great defense, suffocating the Spartans to keep them from scoring any more. With the clock ticking and two minutes left to go, Spartans Nicolas Bulaon created space around the Veritas tight defense to put his team in the lead by two. The Veritas struggled with frustration on offense, causing various turnovers and letting Spartans Gyles Valencia and big man Jeff Aggabao grab the easy steals. With fouls to give, the Veritas tried to win the ball back, but ended up in bonus, giving Aggabao a free throw to seal the win.

In the beginning of the first half, the Spartans were the first to find their offense as Susim hit a three pointer to get the game going. But it wasn’t long till the Veritas answered back with eight straight shots coming from the paint from Veritas Joshua Benitez and Aloysius Dela Rojo, ending the first quarter on a good note. The struggling Spartans tried to regain the possession of the game, but ended up short by halftime with the score 8-10.

As the third quarter rolled around, the Veritas kept the Spartans offense on hold and their defense left to scramble, causing careless fouls to give the Veritas a winning chance with big man Lloyd Donisio on the free throw line. But by the end of the third, the Veritas defense was broken, as the Spartans came back for the win.

“We were trying our best,” said Aggabao about how his team did. “I felt bad because I felt like it was going to be an easy win. We need to work harder.”

Spartans Susim led his team with six points and four steals. Helping him was Aggabao with four points and six steals and Bulaon with four points of his own. Veritas Dela Rojo led his team with six points and four steals.

 

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Spartans' Kenji Bulaon gets the steal on Veritas' Aloysius Dela Rojo. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Spartans’ Kenji Bulaon gets the steal on Veritas’ Aloysius Dela Rojo. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Veritas' Dominic Salenga tries to dribble through the aggressive defense of Spartans' Joshua Onedera. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Veritas’ Dominic Salenga tries to dribble through the aggressive defense of Spartans’ Joshua Onedera. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Spartans' Anthony Susim attempts the layup. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Spartans’ Anthony Susim attempts the layup. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

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