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FUESTA KEEPS BANDITS AT BAY

The Golden Hoops Calssic has moved into its second week of action with a handful of exciting games in the recreational diviosn. The Sticky Bandits and Fuesta Club battled all game in a close though Fuesta caught the Bandits in the second half, preventing them from stealing the game.

By Jeffrey Ochavillo

The Golden Hoops Classic has moved into its second week of action with a handful of exciting games in the recreational division. The Sticky Bandits and Fuesta Club battled all game in a close though Fuesta caught the Bandits in the second half, preventing them from stealing the game with a 45-40 victory at the Tamuning Gym.

In the last minute of the game with Fuetsa in the lead with 44-36, the Sticky Bandits tried to make a final effort by making a close come back.

The Bandits went on a 6-0 run in the last minute of the game. It started with Arvin Flores taking the ball coast-to-coast and drawing the contact at the other end. After making both of his free throws, he brought the deficit to eight. After, Fuetsa missed three open shots in the key and Fuesta’s Jackie Ramos finished at the other end with a layup, cutting the lead to six. After a missed shot by Derin Santos, Flores hustled back in the key for the put back to cut the lead to 40-44 with 38 seconds left on the clock.

However, the Sticky Bandits’ luck had run out as Robert Balajadia went for a three and missed with Fuetsa’s Renz Brozo getting the rebound, forcing them to resort to fouling. Only making one, Sticky Bandits attempted to make quick long-range jumpers but it would not get the finish.

Rozo spoke of the Bandit’s late comeback, “We needed to just keep our composure and not go out of control. Turnover and fouls were our biggest problems. By just keeping our defense at work, we were able to get the comeback and the win.”

Fuesta's attempts a shot from deep. (photo by Eileen H. Balajadia)

Fuesta’s Shalene Banez attempts a shot from deep. (photo by Eileen H. Balajadia)

The game ended with Fuesta stealing back the win with 45-40 victory with Renz Rozo being the game high scorer with 18 points. In the valiant effort of the Sticky Bandits, Brianna Benito led her team with nine.

Right when the game started, Renz Brozo of Fuetsa had gotten his team on a good start by either scoring or getting his teammates involved with assists. He had knocked five straight points in the early minutes of the game and finished the half with 13 points in the 1st half.

However, Sticky Bandits did not let one player stop them. Down 17-12, Chachi Bolabola drove hard to the basket and drew the contact. She knocked down both of her free throws to cut the lead to three (14-17).

After a jump shot from Fuetsa’s Joseph Gumataotao, the Bandits started to get their offense going by getting offensive rebounds and making their 2nd chance shots. They scored 8 points just off of second chance points, plus free throws. Arvin Flores had followed his shot and put back his own shot, therefore tying the game at 20.

Coming out of halftime with a score of 22-25 with Sticky Bandits in the lead, Renz Brozo picked up the pace by dishing the ball out to a cutting Jessica Dela Cruz who finished the play with a layup cutting the lead to 24-25.

A few plays later, Brozo ran the same play on a fast break with Cruz getting the bounce pass and gets blocked by Bandit’s Derin Santos but was called a foul. After making only 1 of 2 free throws, she ties the game back at 25.

Sticky Bandits' Brianna Benito creates contact down in the post. (photo by Eileen H. Balajadia)

Sticky Bandits’ Brianna Benito creates contact down in the post. (photo by Eileen H. Balajadia)

To get back the lead, Fuetsa’s Phil Carlson drained a long mid-jumper, thus giving his team back the lead (27-25) Fuetsa was not finished just yet as they continued to work on offense by holding down the Bandits with a 6-0 run. Charlson had gone coast- to-coast and got the euro step and flipped a reverse. Following that, Joe Gumataotao got the steal and passed it to Rozo who finished with a one-handed layup, giving him team the 33-25 lead.

Rozo continued by explaining what his team did in the 2nd to get back the lead, “My team and I decided to play and work harder tonight. We were able to get good defensive stops that helped us convert more on the offense with quick fast break points. We needed to work on defense and really needed to hustle back. We needed commit fewer turnovers and focus more on scoring and passing the ball around. “

To stop the bleeding, the Sticky Bandits’ Benito took the pass from teammate Balajadia and finished with a floater, making the score 27-27. A few plays later, Derin Santos knocked down her third three of the game to cut the lead to seven (30-37).
On a defensive play, Fuetsa’s Rozo gets his 4th block of the game, and tosses the ball to Shalene Banez who had finished the play with a three point shot making the score 44-32.

Other Action

Sticky Bandits 59, Disciplz – 58 OT

The Bandits were playing a near back-to-back game and managed to gut out a victory over the Dsicplz in the 7 pm game. Arvin Flores hit a free three with 2.9 seconds on the clock to complete a comeback with the Bandits trailing for majority of the second half. Maree Pelkey, Derin Sanots, and Iona Evangelista led the team with eight points each with no player on the eight man squad scoring below five points. Larry Laxamana led the Disciplz with 20 points.

More scores coming soon…

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