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GECKOS ALL OVER GSPN TOURNEY FINALS

The GW Geckos sent out a message to the rest of the teams in IIAAG boys basketball league that they are for real. The Geckos defeated the Okkodo Bulldogs, convincingly, Friday night at the FD Phoenix Center with a 67-56 victory to earn the GSPN Boys Pre-Season High School championship.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The GW Geckos sent out a message to the rest of the teams in IIAAG Boys Basketball League that they are for real. The Geckos defeated the Okkodo Bulldogs, convincingly, Friday night at the FD Phoenix Center with a 67-56 victory to earn the GSPN Boys Pre-Season Basketball Tournament championship presented by Triple J.

(The game was broadcasted on live television for Docomo Pacific subscribers on Channel 2 with Sports Director Robert Balajadia and reporter Jay Leon Guerrero calling the game)

The Geckos now put themselves in the mix of title contenders for this years high school title after taming the mighty Bulldogs. The Geckos, coached by Lawrence Luces, stayed firm with their man-defense and broke the Bulldog full court press in the second half to maintain a double digit lead throughout the second half.

Offensive rebounding and good free throw shooting put GW up 38-20 by halftime. The Bulldogs took an early 8-4 lead to open up the contest but the offense of Kyle Gaitan and Devin San Agustin helped the Geckos take momentum. Gaitan, a freshman sixth man, scored four points in the opening period to tie the game at 10 apiece after the first quarter to set the tone for the Geckos.

Mathew Soto of GW avoids a Bulldog to still make a shot attempt.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Mathew Soto of GW avoids Bulldog Aiden Ferrara to still make a shot attempt. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

The Bulldogs’ inside players Aiden Ferrera and Karl Melencio were double teamed and not allowed to get into any rhythm on offense.

“Our help side defense was good as they dropped the ball inside,” said Gaitan of their game plan.

Matthew Soto and Jacob Frias increased the Gecko lead to 20 points in the third quarter despite the Bulldogs’ full court press. The Bulldogs desperately needed to go on a big run in the second half but missed open jump shots and free throws in the third period.

Both coaches emptied their benches in the fourth period as the pool B, second-seeded, Geckos celebrated after the game. San Agustin and Gaitan each scored 13 points to lead the Geckos.

Kyle Gaitan’s older brother, Lester, chipped in 9 points for the new champs.

“It’s good to win the championship but we learned a lot from this pre-season tournament because we got to see the competition. We still have to work on our defense, we keep reaching in and we are not getting back on D,” said Kyle Gaitan.

Melencio, who was named the tournament MVP, scored 8 points for the Bulldogs while Ferrera scored 7. The Bulldogs, who lost in last years championship game, will open up their season next Tuesday at Harvest.

All-Tournament team:

Karl Melencio (Okkodo) MVP
Ricky Pak (JFK)
John Buan (Sanchez)
Tristan Jose (FD)
John San Andres (St. Paul’s)

The GSPN All-Tournament Team from left-to-right: Ricky Pak, Tristan Jose, John San Andres, Karl Melencio, John Buan. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

The GSPN All-Tournament Team from left-to-right: Ricky Pak, Tristan Jose, John San Andres, Karl Melencio (tournament MVP), John Buan. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Legends 3-point Shootout Winner – Rey Serafico

FINALS ROUND:
Rey Serafico – 13 points
Erwin Villa – 12 points

FIRST ROUND:
Rey Serafico – 19 points
Erwin Villa – 17 points
Joey Gogue – 12 points
Jin Han – 11 points

Legends 3-point shootout winner, and underdog Rey Serafico ended up scoring the most points in both rounds. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Legends 3-point shootout winner, and underdog JFK head coach Rey Serafico ended up scoring the most points in both rounds. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

 

PHOTO GALLERY:

 Allen Camacho leaps through Okkodo defenders to make a short jump shot attempt.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Allen Camacho leaps through Okkodo defenders to make a short jump shot attempt. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Devin San Agustin gets the ball stripped from his hands on the way to the basket.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Devin San Agustin gets the ball stripped from his hands on the way to the basket. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Devin San Agustin makes it past the Okkodo defense to make it to the basket for a layup.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Devin San Agustin makes it past the Okkodo defense to make it to the basket for a layup. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Varnave "#TheVern" Gustilo  of Okkodo attempts a short jumper in the first quarter.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Varnave “#TheVern” Gustilo of Okkodo attempts a short jumper in the first quarter. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Nathaniel Gaitan of GW goes up to block a shot from Christian Acosta.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Nathaniel Gaitan of GW goes up to block a shot from Christian Acosta. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Karl Melencio of Okkodo blasts through the lane for a layup.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Karl Melencio of Okkodo blasts through the lane for a layup. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

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