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ISLANDERS WIN 2015 BOYS BASKETBALL TITLE

For the first time since 2004, the JFK Islanders finally got the opportunity to cut down the nets after winning a 56-54 thriller Friday night over the FD Friars to win the IIAAG boys basketball crown in front of a packed crowd at the UOG Calvo’s Fields House.

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By Jay Leon Guerrero

For the first time since 2004, the JFK Islanders finally got the opportunity to cut down the nets after winning a 56-54 thriller Friday night over the FD Friars to win the IIAAG boys basketball crown in front of a packed crowd at the UOG Calvo’s Fields House. It was an exciting seesaw battle for the first three quarters that saw nine lead changes!

FD coach Eddie Pelkey and JFK coach Rey Serafico rotated their lineup to find that one difference maker, that one spark plug to help their team make a run.

Neither team went up by more than four points in the even chess match until Serafico got his lift from sixth man Jan Pineda in the final period.

Pineda started the fourth quarter and made a three pointer followed by a steal at mid court that led to an easy lay-in to give the Islanders a 48-41 lead, their largest of the game. Pineda also hit a three-pointer to open up the final period of play that led up to the run.

“Jan is my spark when Ricky (Pak) or Billy (Belger) are struggling. He came up huge for us by hitting big shots,” said Serafico.

Islanders Chris Conner leaps up to get a one-handed block on Friars Jujuan King. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Islanders Chris Conner leaps up to get a one-handed block on Friars Jujuan King. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

“Coach told me to go in there and play hard defense. On offense, I was open so I just focused on making the open shot,” said Pineda. “It’s my last year; I’m a senior, so I wanted to play good tonight,” added Pineda.

“He really deserves the GSPN spark plug award because he came in and held the game down for us,” said Pak. Pak later hit free throws to extend their lead to 50-42 with three minutes remaining. But against FD, no lead is safe.

The Friars quickly stepped up their defense and went on a 4-0 with Juan King making a lay-in and Tristan Jose getting a steal and later making two free throws cut the lead to 50-46. With 90 seconds remaining, both teams traded baskets and each team hit one of two free throws to bring the score 53-49 with 40 seconds remaining.

Jujuan King got a quick bucket for the Friars to trim the lead to 53-51. FD played aggressive defense and tried to snatch a steal, but they get called for the foul as Aljurell Grape stepped to the line and made two big free throws for the Islanders to go up 55-51.
On the ensuing possession,the Friars push the pace and Jason Santos hits a three-pointer to cut the lead to just a point, trailing 55-54 with 27 seconds left.

The Islander faithful erupt as their team has a 4th quarter lead. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Islander faithful erupt as their team has a 4th quarter lead. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Friars were then immediately forced to foul and Pak made 1-of-2 from the line to go up 56-54 as FD called for timeout with 19 seconds remaining. After the timeout, the Friars looked to go inside but they threw the ball away with 10 seconds remaining and were forced to foul.

Grape went to the line, but misses both free throws, as the Friars rebounded. The outlet pass was made and then an extra pass found Juan King open for a three pointer with four seconds left. King’s three-pointer caught the back iron, but Jose grabbed the offensive rebound and quickly attempted a final shot to try and force overtime.

Jose’s shot looks good, but missed as the ball caught the front of the rim and Grape secured the board as the buzzer sounded. Immediately after, the Islander fans stormed the court and celebrated with the players.

Let the Celebration Begin

Chris Conner played well the entire game for the Islanders and was named the GSPN championship game MVP after he had game high’s of 20 points and 14 rebounds.

“Feels really good to win this for our school. We played really hard for our coach, he tells us to give 110 percent very practice,” said Conner.

“The game could have went both ways, the team knows we haven’t won since 2004 and they work hard and played their hearts out tonight,” said Serafico.

Belger had another solid all-around game with 9 points (two 3-pointers), 9 rebounds, and 2 assists.

“I’m really in a loss for words, I can’t explain how good this feels to win this championship,” said an emotional Belger after the game. Belger is a junior and will be a key returnee with Conner who is also a junior.

Islanders Wayne Jesus tries to convert on the layup through heavy traffic. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Islanders Wayne Jesus tries to convert on the layup through heavy traffic. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Pak and senior Wayne Jesus played their final game and leave JFK with a long awaited title.

“It feels great, we scrimmage with the JFK Alumni all the time and they tell us we are in a drought so it really felt good to win this for them as well,” said Pak. Jesus, who was in foul trouble, managed to score 8 points and 2 blocked shots for the game.

Jose, who scored 10 points in the opening quarter, led the Friars with 15 points and 6 rebounds. Jujuan King had 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists for the Friars. The Friars were two points shy of repeating as champions. The Friars shot poorly from the charity stripe making 9-24 shots for a FT shooting percentage of 35.4%. The Islanders made 18-28 shots for 64%.

In the third place consolation game, the Okkodo Bulldogs needed overtime to defeat the GW Geckos 63-61. Nate Lorenzo had 14 points to lead the Bulldogs, Devin San Agustin had a game high 14 points for he Geckos.

Stats

Friars:
Jujuan King – 12 PTS, 9 REB, 4 AST
Tristan Jose – 15 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL
Devin Sudo – 7 PTS, 3 STL
Jason Santos – 5 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST

Islanders:
Chris Conner – 20 PTS, 14 REB, 2 BLK
Billy Belger – 9 PTS, 9 REB, 2 AST
Jan Pineda – 8 PTS, 2-2 3PM, 2 STL
Wayne Jesus – 8 PTS, 2 STL
Ricky Pak – 5 PTS, 5 AST, 4 STL

Team Stats:
Rebounds – FD 41, JFK 34
Assists – FD 17, JFK 12
Turnovers – FD 13, JFK 14
Free throws – FD 9-24 (37.5%), JFK 18-28 (64.3%)
Three-pointers – FD 3-10 (30%), JFK 6-12 (50%)

PHOTO GALLERY:

Islanders Chris Conner was huge all night long, taking home the GSPN MVP of the game. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Islanders Chris Conner was huge all night long, taking home the GSPN MVP of the game. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Chris Conner poses with his GSPN t-shirt after being named the MVP of the game. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Chris Conner poses with his GSPN t-shirt after being named the MVP of the game. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Islanders Aljurell Grape cuts down a piece of the net. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Islanders Aljurell Grape cuts down a piece of the net. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Islanders hoist up their 2015 boys basketball title. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Islanders hoist up their 2015 boys basketball title. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Islanders Ricky Pak checks into the game with his first points. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Islanders Ricky Pak checks into the game with his first points. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Islanders Aljurrell Grape dribbles down court through the tough defense. Islanders Ricky Pak checks into the game with his first points. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Islanders Aljurrell Grape dribbles down court through the tough defense. Islanders Ricky Pak checks into the game with his first points. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

_DM37838

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Friars Tristan Jose draws the charge on Islanders Jaron Wielbacher. Islanders Ricky Pak checks into the game with his first points. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Friars Tristan Jose draws the charge on Islanders Jaron Wielbacher. Islanders Ricky Pak checks into the game with his first points. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Islanders Chris Conner gets a big block on Friars guard Nick Clark. Islanders Ricky Pak checks into the game with his first points. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Islanders Chris Conner gets a big block on Friars guard Nick Clark. Islanders Ricky Pak checks into the game with his first points. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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