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WARRIORS EDGE GECKOS FOR 7TH STRAIGHT WIN

The St. Paul Warriors are proving they’re among the leagues best by beating the Geckos while halting a near comeback at the Gecko gym on Friday night.

By Niko Bulaon

The speed of the GW Geckos surpassed their opponents, the St. Paul Warriors, but it wasn’t enough as the Warriors halted the Geckos’ attempt of a comeback win, 53-46, Friday night at the GW gymnasium.

Both Warriors and Geckos fought from beginning to end, but it was in the fourth quarter that GW played the hardest, trying to rally back from a slow third quarter. Behind Jason Frias, the Geckos started the last quarter with back-to-back layups to cut into the Warriors’ lead, 45-38.

Boys Basketball STANDINGSWarriors’ big man, John San Andres, soon found the openings in GW’s tight defense to put up the easy buckets. But consecutive lay-ins by GW and a three-point play by Matthew Soto put the Geckos only three points away from St. Paul, 49-45.

Warriors Jason Aquino stepped up to keep his team ahead of their opponents. With only two minutes left in the game, GW’s speed and aggressiveness went to another level, not allowing their opponents anywhere near their basket. The Warriors soon stepped up to match the Geckos as they tried to let time expire. But loose balls caused St. Paul to foul their opponents, putting Soto on the line. However, time was not on GW’s side, as the time expired to give the Warriors the win.

“I’m glad for tonight’s win,” said Aquino. “Although we played sloppy, we came out as the victors.”

At the start of the first, the Warriors grew a small lead behind Aquino and teammate Redd Santos. But the Geckos stayed right behind their opponents after multiple second-chance shots, ending the first with a score of 14-10.

Warriors’ John San Andres on a fast break play goes up for an easy layup. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Warriors’ John San Andres on a fast break play goes up for an easy layup. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The Geckos found their rhythm going into the second; two layups by Soto put the score at 15-14. A quick lay-in by Allen Camacho put the Geckos ahead of the Warriors and another two-pointer by Josh McCarrel put GW up by three, 18-15. But a quick bucket by Brian Tsuji and Jon Pangilinan put the Warriors back up. Multiple easy buckets by St. Paul ended the half with a 6-0 run, 26-20.

At the start of the second half, St. Paul kept their balance to build their lead. Behind Aquino and San Andres, the Warriors frustrated the Geckos after hitting consecutive easy baskets. GW tried match with their opponents, but the offense of the Warriors broke the tight defense of the Geckos, forcing them to foul.

With their opponents looking for their rhythm, St. Paul went on a short 6-2 run. But a buzzer beating three-pointer by Jacob Frias ended the third quarter on a good note for the Geckos, 40-28.

“As I said before, I think my team will do great,” stated Aquino about his team’s journey through the rest of the season. “The chemistry is here, getting better every day, and just having fun and playing basketball.”

Aquino led the Warriors with 19 points and seven rebounds. San Andres contributed with 15 points, a game-high 19 rebounds, five steals, and a block. Soto led the Geckos with 12 points, seven rebounds, and two steals.

Other Scores

FD 65, Okkodo 58 – (FD) Jeremiah Taitano 17 pts. (FD) Nic Aglubat 12 pts. (OKD) Karl Melencio 24 pts.
Guam High 58, St. John’s 42
Southern 51, Harvest 48
Sanchez 48, ND 44

PHOTO GALLERY :

Geckos’ Josh McCarrel attempts a three point shot over Warriors’ John San Andres. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Geckos’ Josh McCarrel attempts a three point shot over Warriors’ John San Andres. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Geckos’ Devin San Agustin rushed an opening in the lane trying to get a layup in the basket. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Geckos’ Devin San Agustin rushed an opening in the lane trying to get a layup in the basket. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Geckos’ Jason Frias tried to get a short jumper off just outside of the key, but is blocked by Warriors’ John San Andres. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Geckos’ Jason Frias tried to get a short jumper off just outside of the key, but is blocked by Warriors’ John San Andres. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Warriors’ Adrian Manansala dribbling the ball past Gecko defenders. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Warriors’ Adrian Manansala dribbling the ball past Gecko defenders. (photo by Jesse Castro)

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After winning the title with ND in 2019, Tiyan Titan head coach Conrad Kerber has the Lady Titans sitting at 2nd place in the league with one week left in the season, the highest placement the Titans have ever been.

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