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SHARKS CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH

The Sanchez Sharks (10-4) clinched a playoff berth in the IIAAG boys basketball league holding off the St. John’s Knights (7-7) for the victory at the St. John’s gym, spoiling the Knights’ senior night.

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By Jay Leon Guerrero

The Sanchez Sharks (10-4) clinched a playoff berth in the IIAAG boys basketball league holding off the St. John’s Knights (7-7) for the 47-41 victory at the St. John’s gym, spoiling the Knights’ senior night. The Sharks got a huge lift from sixth man Ralph Devera who hit a deep 3-pointer and a lay-up in the last two minutes of regulation to secure the victory and the playoff berth.

“We just executed on our plays tonight, we were very patient,” said Devera. “The Knights came back because they have very good shooters, we had to play man (defense) on them the whole game,” he added.

The Knights trailed by as much as ten points in the third quarter and the Sharks looked to run away with a blowout win. But on senior night, the Knights’ only senior Arvin Flores started the comeback by hitting a 3-pointer to open up the final period of play. Takumi “Curry” Simon followed up with a pair of triples to bring the Knights back in the contest trailing 34-31 with 5:30 left in regulation.

“We focused on our defensive rotation and keeping our man in front of us,” said Sanchez coach Jin Han. “We tried to keep them in front of us the whole game but they got free towards the end of the game and made their shots,” Han added.

Sharks John Buan attacks the rim through the Knights defense. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Sharks John Buan attacks the rim through the Knights defense. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

With 2:30 remaining, Knight point guard Michael Min got his team within a point after a fast break lay-up to trail 36-35. On the Sharks’ ensuing possession, Devera pulled the trigger about two feet behind the three-point line and found nothing but net to silence the Knight faithful. After a missed shot by the Knights, Devera converted on a lay-in thanks to a nice feed by Anthony Castro to go up 41-35.

The Knights’ Tony Hsieh got fouled and sank both free throw to trail 41-37 but a nice backdoor cut by Castro gave him a wide open lay-in with 30 seconds remaining to push the lead back to 43-37.

After Castro’s made bucket, Min raced down court and launched a deep-three and got fouled in the process for the rare four-point play to trail 43-41. The Knights looked for the steal on the inbounds pass but the speedy John Buan from the Sharks broke the press and made the insurance lay-in with 18 seconds remaining. The Knights turned the ball over after Buan’s lay-in and were forced to foul Aaron Castro who made both free throws for the 47-41 eventual final score.

Buan had the game’s only double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Min orchestrated the offense for the Knights with 7 dimes and a game-high 14 points.

Sharks Ralph Devara swishes home a three pointer. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Sharks Ralph Devera swishes home a three pointer. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

According to Han, the win guarantees the silver-and-black a playoff berth. They have a showdown on their home court on Tuesday vs. the Okkodu Bulldogs for second place in the Taga Division. If the Sharks win on Tuesday, they will have home court advantage for the first round of the playoffs. The Sharks are so far undefeated on their home turf.

The playoff picture for the young Knight’s squad is very slim, but there is still light at the end of the tunnel. The Knights need to win their remaining games and the St. Paul Warriors need to lose their remaining games in order for the Knights to clinch the final playoff spot. The Knights, who dropped to 7-7, will need to beat the first place JFK Islanders on their next game to stay alive.

In the junior varsity game, the Sharks led the entire second half and held on to defeat the Knights 34-25.

Stat Lines

Sharks
John Buan – 11 PTS, 10 REB
Ralph Devera – 12 PTS, 7 REB
Anthony Castro – 9 PTS, 3 AST, 1 BLK
John Garcia – 5 PTS, 8 REB

Knights
Michael Min – 14 PTS, 7 AST, 7 REB, 3 TO
Takumi Simon – 11 PTS, 5 REB, 4 STL
Tony Hsieh – 7 PTS, 4 REB
Isaac Sim – 6 PTS, 9 REB, 4 TO

Team Stats
Rebounds – Sharks 40, Knights 30
3-point percentage – Sharks 3-12 (25%), Knights 5-13 (38.5%)
Turnovers – Sharks 11, Knights 12
Assists – Sharks 9, Knights 13
Free throws – Sharks 6-8 (75%), Knights 8-13 (61.5%)

Other Scores
FD 79, ND 56
JFK 80, Harvest 50

FD Friars defeat the ND Royals 70-19 (junior varsity)

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Knights Michael Min converts on the basket underneath the rim. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Knights Michael Min converts on the basket underneath the rim. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Knights Arvin Flores gets hacked on the layup attempt. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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