FRIARS TO FACE BULLDOGS IN SEMIS

FRIARS TO FACE BULLDOGS IN SEMIS

📅14 January 2015
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By Robert Balajadia

The unbeaten JFK Islanders ran into a well-ready FD Friars team in the GSPN Boys Basketball Pre-Season Tournament and the Okkodo Bulldogs got strong fight from the Sanchez Sharks as both quarterfinals games were down to the wire at the FD Phoenix Center Wednesday night.

The St. Paul Warriors also came back to defeat the ND Royals 55-43 after Wednesday night’s game was postponed.

FD 55, JFK 48

Despite it being a pre-season, neither of the two teams wanted to lose with FD using a strong second half to knock the Islanders out of the tournament.

Friar Roy Taimanglo came up big down the stretch with a key assist to Jason Santos and two big buckets to keep the Friars ahead in the final two minutes.

“We want to win so bad, we’re working real hard in practice,” said Taimanglo despite this being just a pre-season tourney.

Taimanglo and teammate Tristan Jose led the Friars in scoring with 12 points.

Anthony Smalls gets fouled as he charges in for a layup.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Anthony Smalls gets fouled as he charges in for a layup. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Streaky shooter Billy Belger was held to just two points, his lowest output of the tournament thus far and Friar Nick Clark had the tough responsibility of guarding Belger all game long.

Trailing 44-40, Islanders Chris Connor converted on a fast break bucket to get within a single score with 3 minutes left to play. FD ate up time on the game clock before Taimanglo zipped a pass to Santos to go up 46-42. Taimanglo then converted on a wide open jumper after an Islanders turnover, then on a nifty layup through traffic to close out the game.

“I just tried my best to be a team player and work hard from the beginning of the game,” said Taimanglo on his strong finish.

FD will now face the Okkodo Bulldogs, who roughed out a win over the Sanchez Sharks.

Okkodo 54, Sanchez 48

Bulldog Karl Melencio’s 25 points were much needed to hold off Sharks John Buan’s 21 point effort in the last game of the evening, wrapping up pool play.

The Sharks had not won a game in pool play, but were just a few points away from pulling off the biggest tournament upset over the Bulldogs. Sanchez took a 32-29 late in the 3rd quarter before Melencio took over.

Melencio let loose a three-pointer while getting fouled in the act, getting the hoop-and-harm to give the Bulldogs a 33-32 lead. He then stole the ball on the inbounds play to extend the lead 35-32 with a minute left in the 3rd.

Karl Melencio of the Bulldogs lays it up after a fast break away in the second quarter.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Karl Melencio of the Bulldogs lays it up after a fast break away in the second quarter. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

“I don’t want to lose, I’m here to win. We’re not giving 50%, we’re giving it our all,” said Melencio on what willed him to take over in the 3rd.

The Bulldogs forced a Sharks turnover with just seconds left to go when Melencio received a cross-court pass, took one strong dribble, and let a three-pointer fly as the buzzer sounded, sinking it in for a 38-32 lead, a 9-1 run to end the quarter.

Sanchez got as close as four points in the 4th quarter, but the Bulldog defense prevailed in the final minutes after converting on two steals to go up 52-44. Melencio then made the play of the game after soaring in to make a chase-down block on Sharks John Garcia before time expired.

“We’re not focusing on just one game, we’re focused on winning every game,” added Melencio.

St. Paul 55, ND 43

The ND Royals were leading the St. Paul Warriors 26-21 in the 3rd quarter Tuesday night before the game was called off due to a slippery court. Both coaches agreed to have the game postponed and action was moved to the St. Paul’s gym Wednesday night where the Warriors were able to regroup and defeat the Royals.

Adrian Manasala led the Warriors with 15 points and teammate John San Andres had 13 to round out the top scorers. ND’s James Cepeda and Ethan Langas led the Royals with 8 points each.

PHOTO GALLERY:

David Sakazaki of the Friars gets blocked in the corner by an Islander during the second quarter.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

David Sakazaki of the Friars gets blocked in the corner by an Islander during the second quarter. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Chino Cruz gets over the block of a Friar to get off a nice jumper.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Chino Cruz gets over the block of a Friar to get off a nice jumper. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Wayne Jesus of the Islanders tries to block Justin Dimla's pass.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Wayne Jesus of the Islanders tries to block Justin Dimla’s pass. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Nick Clark attempts to pass the ball to his teammate at the baseline before going out of bounds.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Nick Clark attempts to pass the ball to his teammate at the baseline before going out of bounds. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Vernave Gustillo charges down the court on a break away.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Vernave Gustillo charges down the court on a break away. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

John Buan of the Sharks charges in for a layup.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

John Buan of the Sharks charges in for a layup. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Aiden Ferrera of the Bulldgos goes up just in case of a rebound opportunity.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Aiden Ferrera of the Bulldgos goes up just in case of a rebound opportunity. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Aaron Castro of the Sharks tries to block a shot from Nate Larenzo.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Aaron Castro of the Sharks tries to block a shot from Nate Larenzo. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

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