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JFK ALUMNI CLOSE OUT PLAYOFFS WITH SWEEP

The JFK Alumni squad handed the short-handed FD Elite their second straight loss in a best of three series, winning the Island Wide Alumni Basketball Title hosted by Guam Elite Basketball. JFK took Game 1 in a best of three, wrapping up the league with a title winning 80-67 score Saturday night.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The JFK Islanders are the champions of the Islandwide All-Alumni basketball tournament after defeating FD Elite Friars 80-67 in game two of their best of three finals series. JFK took advantage of the short-handed Friars to win the inaugural championship at the Guam Elite gym Saturday night in Tiyan.

“We take a lot of pride when we all put on a JFK jersey. There was alot of good schools and competition in this league and we look forward to defending our title in season two,” said Islander Jin Han.

Han scored 10 points in the game but also played the role of player coach and helped develop a strategy against the short-handed FD Elite team which was without Vince Estella.

“Every one who plays basketball on Guam knows that if Vince is on the floor he makes an impact on both sides of the court. It may have been a different outcome if Vince came to play tonight but JFK came to play tonight,” said Han. “I have to give it up to FD with Will (Stinnett) and Dom (Sablan) playing hard and never giving up. We tried to pull away but they played hard till the end”.

JFK’s JP Cruz and Billy Belger provided much of the offense for the Islanders as they got hot in two big runs that helped their school pull away in the second half.

“We saw they were short so we decided to push the pace and play JFK basketball,” said Cruz. Cruz made transition baskets and recorded a pair of second half assists to Belger who made four three-pointers in the second half.

FD’s Shawn Perez matched the sharp-shooting Islanders in the first half, draining 3-of-5 three-pointers to trail by 10 points at halftime. The Islander bench came in and ballooned the lead to 20 points with Kurtis Silva and Wayne Jesus making three-pointers with six minutes left in regulation.

Belger and Cruz each scored 19 points to lead the new kings of alumni Basketball. JFK big man Jeff Serrano contributed eight points and 12 rebounds.

Stinnett had 21 points and 11 rebounds for FD, Perez contributed 20 points. Sablan scored 18 points and dished out five assists.

“I’m blessed to play basketball at this level in this stage of my career. I’m looking forward to another season next year for JFK,” said Cruz.

Academy vs St. Paul

The Cougars were in total control until the final two minutes of regulation. Academy’s Brianna Benito and Kara Duenas helped build a commanding double digit lead with points in the paint.

Haley Senne from St. Paul cut the lead to 50-46 with a minute remaining. The Warriors were forced to foul. Derin Stinnett went coast-to-coast after Duenas missed the second free throw to the lead to 51-48.

The Warriors Chloe Miranda records a steal on the inbound but St. Paul was unable to score as the were forced to foul. Colleen Blas made both free throws with 10 seconds remaining to end the game at 53-48.

Derin Stinnett had 20 points to lead the Warriors. Duenas led all scorers with 22 points, Benito added 15 points for the Cougars. Academy now advances to the women’s alumni championship game against team Fuesta. The championship game is scheduled for next weekend.

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COMING SOON …

Guam National Bodybuilding Championship June 29

Father Duenas Alumni Basketball Tournament

Guam National Triathlon Championship July 14

QUICK HITS

Ryleen Mya Castro was named team MVP for the St. Mary’s College of California Women’s Rugby team in only her sophomore season. Castro is a 2022 graduate from Guam High.
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Coach Donan Cruz and the U.S. Men’s U21 National Team took home gold at the 2024 NORCECA Continental Championship with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 27-25) win over Canada in Nogales, Mexico. The victory guaranteed the U.S. a spot in the 2025 FIVB U21 World Championship.

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