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BULLDOGS WIN BATTLE OF 4-0 TEAMS

Okkodo’s balanced attack too much for GW

By Patrick Lujan

It’s been a while since the GW Geckos and Okkodo Bulldogs were atop the high school boys basketball standings.

Monday night, both teams put their undefeated 4-0 records to the test in the ISA Boys Basketball League and it was the balanced attack of the Bulldogs that came away victors 67-59.

Ironically, the last time these two teams won championships was back in 2013 for Okkodo and 2012 for GW.

KayJay Martin led a balanced Okkodo attack with 13 points to get Wendy’s Player of the Game honors.

A decade later, they have all the makings of championship teams, but it was Okkodo proving to have the edge at this stage of the season with the big win.

“I don’t really think about history or when the last ‘ship was,” Bulldogs head coach Arleen Mad said. “For me, all I want is to be competitive every time we step on the court. That’s it. Whether we win or lose, I’m always looking at how we can be successful. I have a great group of guys who enjoy the game. Nobody likes losing so we work hard to get the best outcome.”

GW got off to a rough start in the early going, committing nine turnovers in the opening quarter and shooting only 1-for-7 from the field. All the while, the steady Bulldogs built a comfortable 20-6 lead by shooting 8-of-15 from the field highlighted by back-to-back threes from Monty Cabrera and Cody Buluran.

Okkodo had to stave off GW’s second quarter climb back into the game. Geckos guard Kupert Louis scored 10 of his 17 points in the quarter to close the gap to within 25-22 before the Bulldogs pulled away a bit to a 31-24 halftime lead.

GW got as close to 38-36 in the third on a steal and layup by Kaden Apiag, who finished with a game-high 19 points. But Okkkodo finished the quarter on a 12-4 run and never looked back.

“I’m a firm believer that there are five guys on the court. Any of them can shoot, so our offense flows best when everyone touches the ball. But it’s defense that we hope to fix moving forward. The rest of the teams will improve and we want to be ready to counter what they throw at us.”

– Okkodo head coach Arleen Mad

A balanced Bulldogs attack was on display as KayJay Martin (13 pts), Jude Lopez (12 pts) and R.J. Gamboa (11 pts) all did their part.

2012/2013 Titles

As mentioned, the Bulldogs last won a title in 2013 with the likes of Joel Oyardo and Jed Antonio when both private and public schools were in one league. The Geckos made an improbable run the year before with players such as Rashawn Blas, VJ Borja and Lance Gogue.

JV excitement

The JV game went to the Bulldogs as they held off the Geckos 62-60. The crazy part was that GW actually led 23-2 after the first quarter before Okkodo somehow climbed out of that hole to pull off the win.

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