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By Robert Balajadia
Guam’s best ballers took action Wednesday night leading up to the big game on October 4th against the Guam National Team vs. the PBA Team Smart Talk ‘N Text with the Guam Basketball Fall Invitational wrapping up it’s semifinals at the St. John’s gym.
In Wednesday night action, the Men’s Blue team advanced to the finals over the Jr. Nationals while the Andersen Bombers got a huge scoring outing from Ledget Glover to beat the Men’s White team.
The men’s national team were split into two squads, white and blue, to spread out competition in the tourney along with the Jr. Nationals and Andersen Bombers.
“There was a lot of mix and match. I not only looked at positions, but how I can mix veterans with some young guys so that veteran players are providing mentorship for others. I wasn’t really sure how it would turn out, but after that first game that went into four overtimes and to finish in a two-point game, it proved they matched up really well. Some strengths on one team negated a strength on the other team and I’m really glad it came out that way,” said head coach EJ Calvo on how the two teams were decided.
Men’s National Team Blue 106, Jr. Nationals 73
The young ballers of the future came out and gave a team of just five of Guam’s best great competition for 20 minutes of basketball. Though even without William Stinnet, the Men’s blue team of JP Cruz, Seve Susucio, Jin Han, John Chaco, and Rashaun Blas rode a streaky shooting second half to blow away the Jr. Nationals.
Cruz finished with 33 points to lead the blue team while teammate Susuico shook off a very rough first half to finish with 25 points.
Jr. Nat’s Tristan Jose scored five straight points to begin the third quarter to get within 50-47 forcing head coach EJ Calvo to call a timeout.
Cruz and Blas then put forth relentless defensive pressure on back-to-back possessions to get steals that led to easy fast break points to go up 57-49. Cruz then buried a three-pointer to put the blue team up 63-51which ignited a big 15-4 end of the quarter run.
The blue team would then go not to sink seven three pointers, including three from Susuico, to close out the Jr. Nationals to advance to the championship game Friday night.
Andersen Bombers 125, Men’s National Team White 82
There was just no stopping Andersen Bombers Ledget Glover, who finished with a game high 41 points to knock off Joe Blas and the men’s white team.
Glover caught fire in the first half scoring 14 points in the first quarter and 15 in the second.
While holding a double-digit lead 37-24, Glover let loose for a pull-up three pointer to put the Bombers up 40-24. His score was answered by men’s white team Earvin Jose to get within 40-27, but Glover would not be outdone to hit back-to-back threes to go up 46-27.
The Bombers would close the quarter on a 20-3 run heading into the half 64-32.
The closest Guam would come in the second half was midway through the third quarter when the men’s white team went on a 7-0 run with Jose hitting a three followed by a Reggie Rechebong layup to get within 78-56.
Glover then stepped up to squash the run by sinking a deep three pointer after an inside bucket from teammate Brian Cooper to go up 83-56 which allowed the Bombers to coast in the final quarter of play.
Joe Blas led the Men’s White with 36 points in the loss.
The Men’s Blue team will face the Andersen Bombers in the Invitational finals on Friday while the Jr. Nationals and Men’s White team will play for third place Thursday night.
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