Connect with us

Basketball

WARRIORS KNOCK OFF ISA CHAMP ISLANDERS

The St. Paul Warriors walked out of JFK victorious, stunning the ISA’s newly crowned champs on their home floor.

By Robert Balajadia

The St. Paul Warriors hadn’t challenged a team from the ISA since being bounced from the GSPN preseason basketball tournament by the JFK Islanders back in January. Monday provided St. Paul a shot at redemption as they traveled to JFK for the first round of the Guam Basketball High School National Championships.

St. Paul rode a big 4th quarter defensive wave, led by guard Thelo Orichiro, to stun the recently crowned ISA Champions 59-46.

GBC National Championship Scores

The Warriors found themselves in the third seed of the IIAAG after not electing to participate in interleague play this season. Losses were given to the Warriors to account for the total amount of games played which put them in 3rd place behind the Harvest Eagles, despite finishing with the 2nd best record in the league.

Wednesday will feature the FD Friars vs. St. Paul Warriors for the fourth time this season while the Guam High Panthers and Harvest Eagles will compete for a spot in the Championship Game.

Warriors pull away

The Warriors had been trailing majority of the contest until an Orichiro bucket in the lane would give them a 37-35 lead early in the 4th. The Islanders were stuck in a championship hangover, but explosive guard Rodson Simina would nail a three to give JFK the lead right back 38-37 as they appeared to be headed towards a big run.

Both teams would trade buckets until another Orichiro bucket from the low block would get the Warriors up 44-42. A missed shot from Jeremiah Kintoki led to a corner three from Orichiro to extend the lead 47-42, forcing a JFK timeout with three minutes remaining.

“We took over on the defensive end. Coach always tells us we win on defense, not on offense, so no matter how many shots we miss we have to get back on defense,” said Orichiro.

Islander forward Ralf Manalac would make a trip to the free throw line down 49-44 with a chance to cut the lead to a single possession, but Manalac would miss both attempts with a little under two minutes left to play.

Orichiro would put the game out of reach after intercepting a poor pass, leading to a fast break score to put his team up 54-44 with 53 seconds left to play.

“It was definitely in that 4th quarter,” said Thelo on when the Warriors saw their opportunity to strike. Coach told us that if we wanted to win then we better get at it on defense.”

Thelo would lead all scorers with 17 points. Simina would lead the Islanders with a team-high 16 points.

Wendy’s Player of the Game: St. Paul Warrior Joel Reyes gave the team 12 big points and Thelo Orichiro scored a team high 17 as the Warriors knocked off the ISA Champion JFK Islanders from the GBC National Championship tournament 59-46. (Photo by Michael Blas)

Reyes big-time minutes

The JFK Islanders were red hot in the opening period, hitting four three pointers for an early 16-9 lead. JFK would get a big lift from their home crowd, but the Warriors would get an even bigger lift from their big-man Joel Reyes.

Warriors starting center Illac Lalic was out due to illness which meant more minutes for reserve Reyes, and he was ready for his number to be called. Reyes converted on back-to-back scores to turn a double-digit JFK lead to 18-13 in the 2nd quarter while also quieting the loud Islander crowd.

Reyes would provide more energy plays in the 3rd, tying the game at 28-all after a clean-up bucket.

“I just felt like tonight was my night,” said Reyes on his big performance. “I had to pick up my teammates even if we were down. We told each other to pick our heads up. The more that we doubt ourselves then the further we’re going to get from that ‘W’.”

Joel would finish with 12 points and his team couldn’t help but celebrate him post game.

“This is everything that I worked so hard for, it’s my mindset. It’s not about minutes to me, it’s all about hard work and dedication,” said Reyes on his elevated role.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Ad

GPS Sports Calendar

January

February 2023

March
SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
Events for January

1st

Events for February

2nd

Events for February

3rd

Events for February

4th

5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Events for February

5th

Events for February

6th

Events for February

7th

Events for February

8th

Events for February

9th

Events for February

10th

Events for February

11th

12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Events for February

11th

No Events
Events for February

13th

Events for February

14th

Events for February

15th

Events for February

16th

Events for February

17th

Events for February

18th

19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Events for February

19th

Events for February

20th

Events for February

21st

Events for February

22nd

Events for February

23rd

Events for February

24th

Events for February

24th

No Events
26
27
28
1
2
3
4
Events for February

25th

No Events
Events for February

27th

Events for February

28th

COMING SOON …

QUICK HITS

Pro ballers: Japan pro basketball players Morgan Aiken and Takumi Simon meet up in Japan in between some of Simon’s games.
———————————————–
Dartmouth rugger Matias Calvo met up with pro Zach Pangelinan in Houston. Calvo is part of a college all-star team and the starting hooker of the NE Reds.

More in Basketball