BULLDOGS HOLD OFF ROYAL RALLY

BULLDOGS HOLD OFF ROYAL RALLY

📅14 November 2014
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By Robert Balajadia

The Okkodo Bulldogs girls basketball team have fully put their opening season loss behind them after holding off a late rally from the ND Royals, beating them 66-60 to extend their hot streak to six games at the Bulldog home Friday night. Bulldogs Felicia “Fearless” Borja scored a game high 35 points while overcoming a 30-point effort by Royals’ Destiny Castro.

Okkodo have displayed different ways to win through the past three games with a come-from-behind win over the JFK Islanders, a blowout win over the Southern Dolphins, and Friday over the Royals where the defense held on for the win.

“We’ve really been working defensively, because we’re not a defensive team. I’m also stressing to the girls to not be afraid. If your shot is there, take it. I’m hoping there’s a big switch in my girls thinking in that we can do this together. We have had to use a different defensive strategy against all these talented girls in the league. If any of these girls are going to drop 30 points on us, it’s going to be a hard fought 30,” said Bulldogs head coach Arleen Madd on the recent success for her team.

Felicia Borja nails a three pointer way behind the arch. (photo by Joey Blas)

Felicia Borja nails a three pointer way behind the arch. (photo by Joey Blas)

The Bulldogs had a great 3rd period while trailing the Royals 36-33 at the half. Borja hit two threes and a runner in the lane to spark a 16-2 run to take a 49-41 lead. Castro managed to get a layup before the quarter ended, but the Bulldog defense allowed just seven points in the quarter while putting up 18 to lead 51-43.

ND started out the 4th quarter strong with Johnalyn Santos hitting a three from the corner, followed by two straight steals that led to fast break buckets for Castro to chip away the lead 53-48.

A layup off a pick-and-roll from Castro to Demi Brennan and a floater by Santos brought the Royals within a single basket 54-52. Borja then took control on defense as she grabbed a defensive rebound which led to a transition bucket by her to end the Royals 11-2 run to begin the 4th.

Borja then grabbed a key offensive board which led to an easy put-back score to go up 58-54. With time winding down, Castro tried to rally her team, but was stripped by Bulldogs Rea Dimag which led to another transition score from Borja to go up 60-54.

With under a minute left to play, Borja hit two clutch free throws to go up 64-57 before Castro went into clutch mode. Castro immediately drove to the basket and converted on a layup, then picked off the Bulldogs in the backcourt only to get fouled with less than 30 seconds to go trailing 64-59.

ND's Destiny Castro splits the defense and lays it in for two points. (photo by Joey Blas)

ND’s Destiny Castro splits the defense and lays it in for two points. (photo by Joey Blas)

Castro’s freebies would have cut the lead to single digits, though her first attempt was missed which forced the Royals to foul Bulldogs Ke’ann Castro, where she converted on both shots in the bonus to secure the game 66-60.

Borja was instrumental all game, distributing the ball well and picking all the right times to score. Her 35 points were vital, but her ability to get her teammates involved has been the brightest spots for the team as a whole.

“It’s great to have a go to player with a great attitude, work ethic, and discipline,” said Madd on Borja’s elevated playing. “To be able to coach someone with talent, but also an ear for ‘what does my coach or team want’, she sacrifices to make sure that her team is up to par. It’s so much fun to have someone respond the way she does and she’s the first person to tell the team that we can win. She’s the heart of the team.”

Bulldogs Rea Dimag had 12 points and teammate Lori Okada chipped in with 10. Santos and teammate Elysia Perez had 10 points each for ND.

The Bulldogs improve to (6-1) on the season while the Royals fall to (2-2).

Other Scores

Academy 57, St. Paul 40 – (AOLG) Kali Benavente 19 points, 11 assists, 5 steals. (SPC) Joy Pangilinan 20 points, 7 steals, 5 rebounds.
Southern 64, Harvest 37 ***Game photos in gallery below!
GW 62, Guam High 54

PHOTO GALLERY:

 Okkodo Ke'ann Castro makes the free throw to go up by 6 point in the fourth quarter. (photo by Joey Blas)

Okkodo Ke’ann Castro hits the clutch free throw’s to go up by 6 point in the fourth quarter. (photo by Joey Blas)

Okkodo Jestyn Sablan puts up a shot while being well defended. (photo by Joey Blas)

Okkodo Jestyn Sablan puts up a shot while being well defended. (photo by Joey Blas)

Okkodo's Ke'ann Castro goes up and makes the difficult basket. (photo by Joey Blas)

Okkodo’s Ke’ann Castro goes up and makes the difficult basket. (photo by Joey Blas)

ND's Kimberly Murphy dribbles past Okkodo's Lori Okada and makes the basket. (photo by Joey Blas)

ND’s Kimberly Murphy dribbles past Okkodo’s Lori Okada and makes the basket. (photo by Joey Blas)

Southern High center Mar Tenorio (13) consults with coach during a timeout. (photo by Rock Anciano)

Southern High center Mar Tenorio (13) consults with coach during a timeout. (photo by Rock Anciano)

Dolphins center Mar Tenorio (13) grabs rebound and scores. (photo by Rock Anciano)

Dolphins center Mar Tenorio (13) grabs rebound and scores. (photo by Rock Anciano)

Harvest Eagle’s point guard Mia Clabarnes (33) during 2nd half at Southern High. (photo by Rock Anciano)

Harvest Eagle’s point guard Mia Clabarnes (33) during 2nd half at Southern High. (photo by Rock Anciano)

Southern High point guard April Taledo (23) scores two for the Dolphins on a jump shot from the key. (photo by Rock Anciano)

Southern High point guard April Taledo (23) scores two for the Dolphins on a jump shot from the key. (photo by Rock Anciano)

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