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CASTRO SCORES 36 IN SEASON DEBUT

The ND Royals finally got their first game in for the 2014 season and Destiny “Queen B” Castro began her junior campaign with a 36 point outing in a over the St. Paul Warriors at the Royals home court down south.

By Robert Balajadia

The ND Royals finally got their first game in for the 2014 season and Destiny “Queen B” Castro began her junior campaign with a 36 point outing in a 65-60 win over the St. Paul Warriors at the Royals home court down south.

Castro did majority of her damage in the second half scoring 13 points in the 3rd quarter and 15 points in the 4th while also holding off a late rally by the Warriors.

“When I first came in I was too excited. I was playing out of control and needed to calm down, but I took a mental break at the half and just played my game,” said Castro on her and the Royals first outing in 2014.

St. Paul’s Joy “Nova” Pangilinan scored a team high 24 points, but foul trouble and strong defense by Castro held the dangerous Warrior guard in check after Pangilinan scored a strong nine points in the first quarter.

Royals head coach Dominic Sablan, point guard for the men’s national team, also made his head coaching debut Friday and having Castro guard players like Pangilinan were just one of the jobs he is going to have her do on a game-to-game basis.

ND Royals Destiny Castro drives past St. Paul Joy Pangelinan and makes the difficult bucket. (photo by Joey Blas)

ND Royals Destiny Castro drives past St. Paul Joy Pangilinan and makes the difficult bucket. (photo by Joey Blas)

“[Destiny] is going to have to get used to this. Night in and night out she’s going to have to guard their best perimeter plater. She is a two way player and plays both ends of the court equally well, so she’s just going to have to get used to this,” said Sablan.

Sablan’s new system was noticed immediately after Castro started the game off on the bench due to missing more than a fair share of practices.

“We have a team policy, commitment first and she missed a few practices last week, but nothing serious and she understands,” said coach.

At the four minute mark in the 1st quarter, Castro entered the game scoring six points in quarter with her team down 16-10.

Castro then scored six quick points to begin the 2nd quarter, two from free throws off a Pangilinan foul which gave the Warriors guard three early in the quarter forcing her to the bench.

ND had trouble capitalizing with Pangilinan off the court turning the ball over three straight possessions as they tried to feed Castro, who had a defender stuck on her all game long. The Royals managed to finish the firs half on a 13-3 run to still trail the Warriors 26-23.

St. Paul's Joy Pangelinan dribbles past two defenders and makes the difficult shot. (photo by Joey Blas)

St. Paul’s Joy Pangilinan dribbles past two defenders and makes the difficult shot. (photo by Joey Blas)

Castro then started to get comfortable after halftime, hitting her first four shots of the quarter to capture a 31-27 lead. Warriors center Kindra Young then banked in a bucket possessions later to get within 35-34. Castro then scored on a transition layup then immediately stole the inbound pass where she got fouled on a shot attempt only to convert on both free throws to create separation on the score boars 40-34.

The Warriors were trailing by 55-43 in the final four minutes of the game, but great full court defense from St. Paul forced the Royals into bad turnovers and easy buckets as the Warriors cut the lead 57-50.

Castro then converted on back-to-back acrobatic layups to push the lead back up to double digits while killing clock to hold on for the win. Castro hit all seven shot attempts in the final quarter to close out the Warriors.

“I saw the game was getting close so I had to push my teammates and show that we really wanted it. As a team, we want to improve each game and hopefully get to that championship game,” said Castro on her teams long term goals.

The Royals enjoy a 1-0 start to the season while the Warriors drop to 0-4. Young had 15 points for St. Paul in the loss.

Other Scores

Okkodo 53, JFK 51
Southern 48, Guam High 38
Harvest 56, Tiyan 21

 Girls basketball standings

PHOTO GALLERY:

St. Paul's Kindra Young receives a pass in the paint and banks it in for two points. (photo by Joey Blas)

St. Paul’s Kindra Young receives a pass in the paint and banks it in for two points. (photo by Joey Blas)

St. Paul's Kindra Young tries to steal the ball away from ND Johnalynn Santos. (photo by Joey Blas)

St. Paul’s Kindra Young tries to steal the ball away from ND Johnalynn Santos. (photo by Joey Blas)

St. Paul's Jada Gutierrez takes a shot at the free throw line. (photo by Joey Blas)

St. Paul’s Jada Gutierrez takes a shot at the free throw line. (photo by Joey Blas)

ND Royals Destiny Castro receives the inbound pass and drives it to the hoop. (photo by Joey Blas)

ND Royals Destiny Castro receives the inbound pass and drives it to the hoop. (photo by Joey Blas)

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