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SHARKS TO MEET BULLDOGS IN ISA FINALS

Macaldo comes up big for Sanchez in semifinals win

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The Simon Sanchez Sharks are headed back to the ISA Boys Basketball Championship game after defeating the George Washington Geckos 52-48 at the UOG Field House Monday night.

The Sharks will look to defend their championship against the top-seeded Okkodo Bulldogs who also advanced by defeating the JFK Islanders 58-48 on their home court.

Sanchez center Ralph Macaldo is the semifinals player of the game

The Sharks and Geckos were tied at halftime and went up by eight points in the third quarter with good defense and scoring from center Ralph Macaldo.

Louis Kupert and DJ Osborne made baskets to start the final period to trim the lead to 45-43. The Sharks got a huge basket from Jace Dela Cruz to go back ahead 48-43 with under three minutes remaining.

The Geckos missed two shots from long distance and Macaldo grabbed the rebounds and was fouled. Macaldo calmly hit both free throws with less than two minutes left to go up 50-43.

Osborne continued to be aggressive and scored an and-1 basket to cut the lead to 50-46. The Sharks looked to run the clock down and managed to play keep-away till 11 seconds left.

With playoff experience on their side, the Sharks’ Aidan Bombon calmly sank both free throws to make it a two-possession game.

The Geckos’ Osborne scored off an offensive rebound as the final buzzer sounded with the Sharks celebrating a 52-48 victory.

Macaldo had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Sharks. Geoff Gozum, Markus Sulit and Jethro Junio each scored seven points for Sanchez.

“Last season, it was a big moment for us to make it to the championship game. To make it again was one of our goals as a team,” said Macaldo.

“I know we have what it takes to win the championship. We are going into the game with more confidence.”

– Sharks leader Ralph Macaldo

Osborne led the Geckos with a game-high 26 points and Kupert chipped in eight points. The Geckos will face JFK on Friday in the consolation third-place game at Southern High School at 5:30 pm. The Sharks and Bulldogs will play for the championship at 7 pm.

The Bulldogs advanced to the championship game after defeating JFK 58-48. ISA MVP Elpizo Orichiro scored 11 points for the Bulldogs, and Tristan Noy scored 10 points.

Sharks vs Bulldogs

The top-seeded Bulldogs (10-1) will enter the game as the favorite to win after beating the Sharks (7-4) twice in the regular season.

It’s been a roller coaster season for the Sharks and they will rely on their championship experience to help them overcome adversity. The Bulldogs seem to have weapons from inside and outside. They will rely on the play-making ability of MVP Orichiro to lead them to victory.

The Bulldogs defeated Sanchez in January 67-62 and again on their home court 84-55 in February.

One thing is for sure, one team will be cutting the nets down on Friday. Will the Bulldogs continue to dominate or will the Sharks claim the first ever back-to-back ISA title? See you on Friday! 

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COMING SOON …

  • 3rd Quarter Sports: Rugby, Boys Basketball, Softball, Tennis in full swing!

 

 

QUICK HITS

Shawn Bamba won the Arizona state wrestling championship while siblings Jussiah and Justyn took third place in their divisions at state.
Shawn (12th) won the 150-lb division while Jussiah (11th) took bronze in the 120-lb class and Justyn (9th) took bronze in the 106-lb category.
All three were born on Guam before moving to Surprise, Arizona in 2014, where they all picked up wrestling in 2016.
Their parents are Justin and Shannon Bamba from Pago Bay.
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Christian Delos Santos, son of Richard Delos Santos (Barrigada) and Norma Larimer Delos Santos (Dededo), won the Kentucky High School Athletic Association wrestling state championship in the 113-lb weight class.
His sister Naiya took 3rd place in the 100-lb girls division.

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