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GSPN PRE-SEASON BOYS TOURNEY DAY 1

The highly anticipated GSPN Pre-Season Boys Basketball Tournament officially tipped off Thursday evening with an opening ceremony to introduce all 11 participating teams followed by the JFK Islanders defeating the Sanchez Sharks and the St. Paul Warriors downing the Guam High Panthers.

By Robert Balajadia

The highly anticipated GSPN Pre-Season Boys Basketball Tournament officially tipped off Thursday evening with an opening ceremony to introduce all 11 participating teams.

Local singer Jack Larimer led the National Anthem followed by the Guam Hymn, Leo Payumo introduced the youth to the Mt. Rushmore of Guam Basketball, and legendary coach Felipe Candaso did the honorary tipoff to get the games underway.

JFK 58, Sanchez 37

The Islanders proved early in the game why they are one of the season’s most dangerous teams after quickly jumping out to a 21-9 lead against the Sharks.

Sanchez made it a closer contest in the second half, but All-Island 1st Team returnee Billy Belger proved to be too much to handle by making clutch buckets to put the Sharks away.

Belger had a game-high 19 points and helped the Islanders bounce back from a poor 3rd quarter where they allowed Sanchez back in the game. Sharks John Buan scored a team-high 13 points, majority of which coming in the second half where the Sharks outscored the Islanders 13-9 in the 3rd quarter to pull within 39-28.

Sharks' Anthony Castro splits the defense and skies up to make the bucket. (photo by Joey Blas)

Sharks’ Anthony Castro splits the defense and skies up to make the bucket. (photo by Joey Blas)

Belger broke a four-minute scoring drought with a bucket midway through the final quarter to go up 41-28. He then made a heads-up play on defense by intercepting a pass after the inbound, where he then stepped into a three-pointer off the steal to extend the lead 44-28, putting the game out of reach.

Ricky Pak added eight points for JFK in the win as the Islanders jump out to an early 1-0 in the tournament.

St. Paul  75, Guam High 64 OT

In a thrilling overtime battle, the St. Paul Warriors used an 11-0 run in overtime to defeat the Guam High Panthers, led by John San Andres 28-point outing. San Andres had missed a game-winning tip in regulation which sent the game into overtime when the Warriors took over.

The largest lead by any team was held by the Guam High Panthers, which was six points. It was a gritty back-and-forth battle by both teams from start to finish.

Kurt Edusada and Rodney Taitague each had 19 points for the Panthers in the loss. Point guard Arther Rhodes added 14 for the Warriors.

Day 1 Pool Standings

Pool A: The North Waters

JFK 1-0
GW 0-0
Sanchez 0-1

Pool B: The Coast-To-Coast Sun

FD 0-0
Okkodo 0-0
ND 0-0

Pool C: The Central Breeze

St. Paul 1-0
Harvest 0-0
Tiyan 0-0
St. John’s 0-0
Guam High 0-1

PHOTO GALLERY:

Opening Ceremony Honoring Guam's Best, Mt. Rushmore of Guam Basketball. (photo by Joey Blas)

Opening Ceremony Honoring Guam’s Best, Mt. Rushmore of Guam Basketball. (photo by Joey Blas)

Group photo before kicking off the preseason High School Boys Basketball Tournament . (photo by Joey Blas)

Group photo before kicking off the preseason High School Boys Basketball Tournament . (photo by Joey Blas)

Legendary coach Felipe Condaso initiated the Honorable Tip off to start the games. (photo by Joey Blas)

Legendary coach Felipe Candaso initiated the Honorable Tip off to start the games. (photo by Joey Blas)

Sharks Cris Yerten dribbles past two defenders and was able to find an opening to make the basket. (photo by Joey Blas)

Sharks Cris Yerten dribbles past two defenders and was able to find an opening to make the basket. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK Jaron Weilbacher drives the ball to the hoop and banks it in and draws the foul. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK Jaron Weilbacher drives the ball to the hoop and banks it in and draws the foul. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK Ricky Pak goes up and makes the difficult shot and draws the foul on the play. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK Ricky Pak goes up and makes the difficult shot and draws the foul on the play. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK Wayne Jesus finds an open lane and finger rolls it in for two points. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK Wayne Jesus finds an open lane and finger rolls it in for two points. (photo by Joey Blas)

Sharks John Buan drives down the baseline goes up and makes the basket. (photo by Joey Blas)

Sharks John Buan drives down the baseline goes up and makes the basket. (photo by Joey Blas)

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