ISLANDERS WILL FACE FRIARS IN FINALS

ISLANDERS WILL FACE FRIARS IN FINALS

📅18 March 2015
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Friars Survive Another Thriller

By Jay Leon Guerrero

Drama unfolded yet again at the Phoenix Center. After winning in overtime in the quarterfinals against the Sanchez Sharks, the Friars won 48-47 in a thriller against the Okkodo Bulldogs to stamp their ticket back to the IIAAG boys basketball championship game Tuesday night. First cousins Tristan Jose and Jason Santos came up huge in the final moments of the game to help the Friars secure victory.

With five ticks remaining and the game tied at 47, Jose gets fouled and hits the first of two free throws to put the Friars ahead 48-47. He missed the second free throw. Okkodo, with no time outs remaining and five seconds left on the clock, rebounded the ball. Vern Gustillo got the outlet pass from Aiden Ferrera and threw the ball up court to IIAAG co-MVP Karl Melencio. Melencio looked to have the sure lay-in but Santos’ hustle barely gets his fingers on the ball to break up the play. Game over.

Santos tied the game with 1:27 left in regulation off a set inbounds pass from Jose to tie the game. “It was a play we have in our pocket, we have a couple of variations of it. We figured it was the right time and situation to run it,” said FD coach Eddie Pelkey.

After FD tied the score, the Bulldogs missed a lay-in. Both teams then turned the ball over which led to FD having possession with 30 seconds remaining. Jose looked to hold the ball to the waning seconds and take his defender off the dribble but got fouled with five seconds remaining.

Friars David Sakazaki gets a clean look under the rim. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Friars David Sakazaki gets a clean look under the rim. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The pressure was on Jose at the free throw stripe, but he calmly swished the first one. “I just tuned everyone out and relaxed,” said Jose. “I tried to make the second one knowing they had no timeouts left,” he added.

Bulldogs start off good!

The Bulldogs came out biting in the first quarter taking the early lead with Melencio on the bench. Melencio did not start and worked his way into the game with a nagging ankle injury. Even with the MVP on the bench, the Bulldogs played solid in the paint with Aiden Ferrera and Nate Lorenzo converting for the 17-13 lead.

The Friars slowly chipped away at the lead behind Santos who dished out two assists on “no look” passes. Santos and center Jeno Aquino came off the bench to spark an 8-0 run, but the Friars still trailed 25-23 by halftime.

The Bulldogs got a lift in the third quarter from Vern “theVern” Gustilo, who catapulted his team to a 31-25 lead. Vern scored a fast break lay-ins and Lorenzo scored on a put back for the 31-25 lead to force FD to make quick substitutions early in the quarter. The Friars stayed within striking distance and took the lead off a buzzer beating three-pointer by guard Isaiah Sablan to take the lead 36-35 after three quarters.

Gustilo continued his aggressive play to open up the fourth quarter hitting a corner three-pointer and finding Ferrera down low to take momentum back. The Friars re-claimed momentum behind a three-pointer by Juan King Jr. to go up 40-39 with four minutes left. Both teams went back-and-forth until the two minute mark with Melencio hitting a pair of free throws to go up 47-45.

Bulldogs Karl Malencio attempts a tough shot over two Friar defenders. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Bulldogs Karl Melencio attempts a tough shot over two Friar defenders. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Melencio’s free throws were the final points of the Bulldog season as they eventually surrender the lead to Santos’ lay-in and Jose’s free throw.

Ferrera played the entire game and had a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Melencio, who had his ankle heavily taped, still managed a double-double as well with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jose led the Friars with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists.

The Friars will now take on the JFK Islanders who they dropped their regular season meeting by three points. According to Jose, they must stop their fast paced offense and their big man.

“The most important thing we need to do is stop the ball, they play well on their transitin and we need to close out on their shooters. We need to rebound, limiting them to only one shot and start on our transition game,” said Pelkey.

Championship game day is Friday at the GW gym, following the consolation game at 530 pm.

Stats:

Friars:
Tristan Jose – 11 PTS, 11 REB, 6 AST
Devin Sudo – 7 PTS, 1 3PM
Jeno Aquino – 6 PTS, 2 REB
Juan King – 5 PTS, 1 3PM

Okkodo:
Aiden Ferrera – 15 PTS, 14 REB, 1 BLK
Karl Melencio – 10 PTS, 10 REB, 1 BLK
Vern Gustilo – 12 PTS, 5 STL, 3 AST
Nate Lorenzo – 6 PTS, 8 REB

Team stats:
Rebounding – FD 39, Okkodo 36
Field goal percentage – FD 35%, Okkodo 37%
Assists – FD 16, Okkodo 9
Turnovers – FD 17, Okkodo 18

Payless Kick the Fat banner

Islanders Punch Title Ticket Over Geckos

By John Baza

Semifinal action commenced as the JFK Islanders and the GW Geckos took to the court Tuesday night at the JFK gym. With both teams eager to get a shot at playing for the title, it was the higher seeded Islanders who were able to capitalize on the opportunity and come out with an 80-62 win over the Geckos.

“I just told them that we’ve got to just play our hearts out tonight and everything will fall into place, it starts on the defensive end and we played great defense tonight”, replied JFK head coach Rey Serafico on his teams performance tonight.

Holding a 59-51 lead heading in to the 4th quarter, the Islanders knew the game was still anybody’s to take and the Geckos knew that as well as Lester Gaitan hit an impressive and-1 shot to cut the deficit (59-54) in the opening minute.

GW looked to chip away at the Islanders’ lead one possession at a time, but with every shot they took, the Islanders’ Wayne Jesus had an answer, keeping JFK’s lead at 8 points as the quarter neared the halfway mark.

JFK players and coaches celebrate defeating GW to move onto the championship match. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK players and coaches celebrate defeating GW to move onto the championship match. (photo by Joey Blas)

Just as the Geckos saw hope with a Mat Soto lay-in down the middle (65-58), the Islanders’ Grape sliced right through the defense for the wide open layup, much like he had been doing the whole game.

With time winding down, the Geckos looked for answers on both ends of the court but were only able to make one field goal off a layup from Ethan Alegre.

Behind the support from a loud home-crowd, the Islanders looked poised and under control, finishing the game strong with great passing and high percentage shots to build a commanding lead and walk out with the W.

“The game plan was to finish the game strong and just keep playing as a team, we did a great job of rebounding and running”, replied Jesus on his team’s game plan for the night.

Jesus along with fellow senior captain Pak were key factors in the 4th, as Jesus was able to cut any chances of a Geckos comeback and Pak went 5-of-6 from the charity stripe in the final minute to seal the win.

JFK's Wayne Jesus battles gets the loose ball and lays it in for two points. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK’s Wayne Jesus battles gets the loose ball and lays it in for two points. (photo by Joey Blas)

“We were really just trying to keep them off the boards, and I feel we did a good job of that but of course we could’ve done better”, replied Pak on his team’s focus for the game.

After hitting a buzzer-beating floater to tie the game 16-all at the end of the first quarter, the Islanders’ Jan Pineda sparked a six-point run that helped his team claim the lead at the start of the second, forcing a Geckos timeout.

After gaining the lead, the Islanders never looked back as Grape and Chris Conner were in attack-mode for much of the quarter, constantly getting to the rim and finishing to end the half at 37-29 JFK up.

The Islanders will now have a shot at claiming the title from the Father Duenas Friars this Friday.

Stats:

JFK:

-Aljurrel Grape 17 PTS, 1 REBOUND, 3 ASSISTS
-Wayne Jesus 15 PTS, 5 STEALS, 4 ASSISTS
-Chris Conner 13 PTS, 9 REBOUNDS, 2 BLOCKS
-Jan Pineda 11 PTS, 3 REBOUNDS, 1 STEAL
-Ricky Pak 9 PTS, 8 REBOUNDS, 5 ASSISTS
-Billy Belger 7 PTS, 7 REBOUNDS, 2 STEALS
-Jaron Weilbacher 3 PTS, 1 BLOCK

GW:

-Devin San Agustin 20 PTS, 7 REBOUNDS, 2 STEALS, 1 BLOCK
-Nate Gaitan 13 PTS, 5 STEALS, 5 ASSISTS, 2 REBOUNDS
-Mat Soto 6 PTS, 5 REBOUNDS, 1 ASSIST
-Jacob Frias 6PTS, 3 ASSISTS
-Ethan Alegre 5 PTS, 6  REBOUNDS, 2 STEALS

PHOTO GALLERY:

JFK's Aljurrell Grape dribbles the ball past mid court while being defended by GW's Noah Blas. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK’s Aljurrell Grape dribbles the ball past mid court while being defended by GW’s Noah Blas. (photo by Joey Blas)

Geckos Lester Gaitan takes a shot from behind the arch. (photo by Joey Blas)

Geckos Lester Gaitan takes a shot from behind the arch. (photo by Joey Blas)

GW's Nate Gaitan drives the ball to the hoop and was fouled on the attempt. (photo by Joey Blas)

GW’s Nate Gaitan drives the ball to the hoop and was fouled on the attempt. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK's Billy Belger dribbles down court for the fast break during the first half. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK’s Billy Belger dribbles down court for the fast break during the first half. (photo by Joey Blas)

Friars Isaiah Sablan pulls up for a midrange jumper. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Friars Isaiah Sablan pulls up for a midrange jumper. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Friar defense swarms Bulldogs Karl Malencio. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Friar defense swarms Bulldogs Karl Malencio. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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Bulldogs Aiden Ferrara gets loose for an easy bucket. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Bulldogs Vern Gustilo draws the foul on Friars Devin Sudo. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Bulldogs Vern Gustilo draws the foul on Friars Devin Sudo. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Bulldogs Vern Gustilo attempts a contested shot in the lane. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Bulldogs Vern Gustilo attempts a contested shot in the lane. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Friars Josh Paulino flies in for a layups. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Friars Josh Paulino flies in for a layups. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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