📅21 January 2014
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By Niko Bulaon

A motivated St. Paul Warriors team stopped the Sanchez Sharks from making a comeback, defeating them 60-57, in four heart-thumping quarters at the Sanchez gym Tuesday night.

“Playing hard defense and moving the ball to get the easy shots,” Warriors Jason Aquino had said about his team’s strengths coming into their game tonight.

HSBBALL STANDINGS 012114From start to finish, the Warriors and the Sharks fought for the win. In the first quarter, the Warriors started the game after an easy three-pointer by Redd Santos, but Sharks Dominic Garcia didn’t waste time to put in his team’s first bucket. Behind Aquino, St. Paul took a quick six-point lead, 12-6, in the third minute of the quarter, but John Buan had other plans, putting in five easy points to end the quarter at 14-11.

Behind Buan, Sanchez kept up with their opponents; a made free throw by Dean Nilo tied the game at 16-16, but an easy layup by Warriors John San Andres put his team back up. It wasn’t long till Garcia nailed a three-pointer and two free throws to put the Sharks ahead for the first time in the game, 21-18. With St. Paul tying it at 21-21, Sharks Kalvin Vitug put it another three to give his team the lead.

Back-to-back layups and two free throws by Aquino put his team a point behind Sanchez, 28-27. A short jumper by Brian Tsuji put the Warriors back on top; with less than five seconds to go, Tsuji shot a three-pointer to beat the buzzer, ending the half at 32-28.

The Warriors wasted no time to put up any points they could to build a 12-point lead, 40-28. But three-pointers from Garcia and teammate Anthony Castro ended their team’s scoring drought. Trying to rebuild their lead, Aquino finished a three-point play, but Buan kept his team going after his own three-point play. With the seconds counting down, Aquino hit the short jumper, adding another quarter with a buzzer beater, 48-41.

St Paul's Reed Santos drives in the lane and makes a spectacular shot. (photo by Joey Blas)

St Paul’s Reed Santos drives in the lane and makes a spectacular shot. (photo by Joey Blas)

As the Warriors slowed their pace, the Sharks sped their offense. Another three-pointer by Garcia cut his opponent’s lead to three, 48-45. But San Andres soon found his team’s rhyme after putting in the easy bucket.

St. Paul’s pace finally sped up to match their opponents; Aquino put his team back up by 12 after back-to-back two-pointers, 59-47. A huge on-the-glass block by San Andres stunned the crowd and the Sanchez offense. But Vitug soon put in two three-pointers and Buan laid in the easy two in an effort to catch up to the Warriors, 59-55, with less than a minute left on the clock. But with the Warriors trying to slow the pace of the game, the Sharks were forced to foul with only 13 seconds left. Tsuji made his team’s last point and Nilo put in the last-minute layup to end the game at 60-57.

“I feel great, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without by teammates,” stated Aquino about the Warriors’ win. “We played hard on defense and that’s what our coach told us to do.”

With a long season ahead, Aquino said, “I feel my team will do great because we have chemistry and we’re just family; we’re brothers.”

Aquino led his team with 27 points, two assists, and two steals. San Andres contributed with eight points, five rebounds, and a game-high five blocks. Buan led the Sharks with 19 points, two assists, and two steals.

Other Scores

Southern 72, FD 71 – OT <— click me!
JFK 90, St. John’s 30
Guam High 70, GW 43 – (GH) Austy Hines 17 pts, 13 reb, 8 ast. (GH) LJ Aguon 19 pts. (GW) Jacob Frias 10 pts, (GW) Josh McCarrel 10 pts.
Okkodo 72, Harvest 34

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