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FRIARS DEFEAT KADENA TO WIN 2020 KANTO CLASSIC

The FD Friars have taken the 2020 Kanto Classic by storm, winning the title over the unbeaten Kadena Panthers.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The Kanto Classic Invitational Basketball tournament concluded late Saturday evening at host American School in Japan (ASIJ) in Tokyo. Seven Guam teams played a span of 42 games in three days of competition on five different courts.

Representing the girls division from Guam were the Academy Cougars, Okkodo Bulldogs and St. Paul Warriors. The boys division was represented by the Father Duenas Friars, Guam High Panthers, Okkodo Bulldogs and the St. Paul Warriors.

Friars win the championship

The Friars defeated the previously unbeaten Kadena Panthers 53-45 to win the championship after a long day of basketball. FD finished 2-2 in pool play and did not earn a bye round in the playoff pool format so the championship was the fourth game of the day for FD. The Friars started the championship game without the tournament MVP Matt Fegurgur due to soreness/cramps.

Despite not having their main player, the Friars played with a chip on their shoulder to take a five-point lead by halftime. FD guards Isaiah Pelkey and Colin Santiago provided the offense early for FD to go up 9-2.

The Friars expanded their lead to 32-19 in the third quarter, but the Panthers clawed back to get within three points in the fourth.

Defense was key and the Friars managed a pair of steals and making shots at the free throw line to win 53-45.

Santiago led the Friars with 10 points, Daryll Robles had nine points. Matt Santos and Nathan Perkins-Fuesser each scored eight for FD.

Girls Division

The Okkodo Bulldogs advanced the furthest from Guam, making it to the semifinals before losing to host school ASIJ 26-16. Angeli Dacanay said prior to the playoffs that their team was going to make adjustments after starting the tournament off with three losses.

The lower seed Bulldogs defeated Kinnick and Christian Academy of Japan before losing to ASIJ.

Okkodo Bulldog Vanezza Gustilo made the All-Tournament team

St. Paul and Academy also notched first round victories before succumbing to a quarterfinal defeat. Academy defeated Yokota in the first round led by Myka Terlaje’s 23 points.  St. Paul defeated Humphrey’s 34-16 also in the first round, Kat Santos led the Warrior offense with eight points.

Cougar Myka Jo Terlaje did make the All-Tournament team despite the Cougars exit in the quarterfinals.

All-Tournament team Myka Jo Terlaje

Warrior boys make final four

The St Paul Warrior boys team also had a good run, making it to the final four. The Warriors were eliminated by the Kadena Panthers 43-29 in the semifinal game. The Warriors led in the first quarter, but the Panthers crafty guard were able to put Kadena up by double digits in the third quarter. The Warriors road to the final four was a dramatic one, defeating the host school, ASIJ 55-53 in double OT in the quarterfinals.

The Okkodo Bulldogs and Guam High Panthers were both eliminated in the first round. St Mary’s defeated the Bulldogs 66-35 and Humphrey’s defeated Guam High 54-25. 

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Photo credit: GNOC

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