By Robert Balajadia
The JFK Islanders were expecting a whole lot of explosive St. Paul Warriors guard Joy “Nova” Pangilinan, but the game plans of both teams changed four minutes into the first quarter when Pangilinan went down with an apparent ankle injury and didn’t return to the court.
The Islanders took full advantage of Pangilnan’s absence, seizing control of the game early to beat the Warriors 45-32. JFK improves to (7-2) with the win while the Warrirors drop to (3-5) on the season.
“[Joylyn] is a very explosive player. When she went down, our game plan changed in a sense that we were allowed to be more aggressive on defense and we didn’t have to collapse. The girls had a sense of what they wanted to do, which was feed the ball to Alison, work the ball around, and be calm,” said head coach Roger Ramos.
Islanders Alison Bowman and Rufina Royster each collected double-doubles on their senior night to lead JFK and the bench full of fan favorites made buckets late in the game which got their all the parents out of their seats. Bowman had 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks while Royster finished with 11 points, 11 boards and 4 steals.
Kindra Young posted a monster game with 12 points and 21 rebounds for the Warriors and freshman guard Chloe Miranda gave the spectators on both sides plenty to be impressed with by putting on display her quick crossovers to go along with points. Miranda had 8 points and 4 assists.
Pangilnan scored all five of the Warriors first points before her exit as she tried to contest a shot and came down awkwardly and in obvious pain. She tried to wrap up and exercise her movement to try and get back in the game, though the Warriors ultimately decided to shut her down for the evening.
The Islanders scored all their points in the second quarter in transition, getting a 24-10 lead at halftime.
St. Paul came out stronger in the second half, going on a 6-2 run to get within 26-18, but Islanders Anita Onedera and Regine Tugade converted on buckets to lead a JFK 7-0 run to end the quarter.
JFK then allowed their bench to play majority of the 4th quarter to end the game.
After suffering two early losses against two of the league’s best teams, the Islanders have seemed to find their identity as a basketball team which has been the reason for their four-game win streak.
“The girls are still growing, but they are understanding the game and are gelling as one. Their defense has been improving, if you take a look at our opponents scores. It’s all been a product of hard work,” said Ramos on the streaking Islanders.
The Islanders will travel to Sanchez for their final game of the season while the Warriors season has come to an end as they await a spot in the playoffs.
Academy 40, GW 33
ND 41, Sanchez 32
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