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FRIARS BOUNCE BACK WITH HOME WIN OVER KNIGHTS

After dropping their first loss of the season on the previous night to the St. Paul Warriors, the FD Friars bounced back to defeat the St. John’s Knights 83-66 in the IIAAG Boys High School Basketball League at the Phoenix Center.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

There’s no place like home! After dropping their first loss of the season on the previous night to the St. Paul Warriors, the FD Friars bounced back to defeat the St. John’s Knights 83-66 in the IIAAG Boys High School Basketball League at the Phoenix Center.

The Knights and Friars came into the contest with identical 7-1 records and the game was important for playoff positioning. The Friars suffered their first loss of the season against the Warriors on Friday night and met up with the another rival, the St. John’s Knights, on their home court. The Friars did not want to lose two in a row and the Friar guards stepped up to ensure they defend their home court and snapping the Knights’ win streak at seven games.

After scoring just two points against the Warriors, FD’s Tony Quinene was on fire and scored a game high 28 points to help the Friars put away the Knights.

“I couldn’t do it without my teammates, it was a team effort,” said Quinene. Friar point guard Tomas Calvo also had a good game dishing out a season high 10 assists.

Quinene made 6-9 three-pointers for the Friars to establish a double digit lead early in the first half.

“Tomas did a good job finding me tonight,” said Quinene who hit open shots as the Knights keyed in on DeAundre Cruz and Kyle Gaitan.

Second quarter

The Friars had a huge second quarter, going ahead 40-26 with second chance shots from offensive rebounding. Isaac Sim and Tony Hsieh from St. John’s were forced to sit early in the second quarter after picking up their third foul of the game and the Friars took advantage with both Cruz and Gaitan scoring from the offensive glass.

The Knights did not allow the Friars to celebrate an early victory and answered in the third quarter with Takumi Simon and Hsieh draining long distance shots to cut their deficit to eight points. Michael Min from St John’s got a steal and drove to the basket to help the Knights get within six points.

The Friars answered before the third period ended behind with Will Camacho making a 3-pointer and Gaitan scoring just before the end of the period to go ahead 64-52.

The Knights made one last charge at a comeback with their full court pressure defense but the Friars were anchored by Cruz and Gaitan to seal the victory.

“Our mindset coming into tonight’s game was to defend home court and get back to how we play. We needed to play our game,” said Calvo.

Calvo had six points and 10 assists he helped contain the Knights from scoring transition points.

The Knights and the Friars will meet again in the playoffs and Calvo said his team can’t be to confident should they meet again.

“We need to defend and stay hungry to get better before the playoffs. If we defend and play as a team, we will be just fine,” said Calvo.

Hsieh scored 24 points despite the foul trouble, Min had 18 points and eight assists. Simon scored 14 points and six rebounds for the Knights who fall to 7-2.

Quinene had a career high 28 points, Gaitan had 13 points and eight rebounds. Cruz had the games only double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Friars improve to 8-1 and are likely to clinch first in their division.

The JV game, the Friars defeated the Knights 54-32. RJ Castro, Colin Santiago and Cisco Uncangco each scored 12 points to lead a balanced Friar scoring attack. Matt Del Carmen led the Knights with 15 points.

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