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BAKER CATCHES FIRE AS FD EDGES ST. PAUL

Friars guard drops 20 points on the Warriors

By Jay Leon Guerrero

Colin Baker caught fire in the fourth quarter to help the FD Friars hold off the host team St. Paul Warriors 69-68 in the IIAAG Boys Basketball League. The Friars improve to 2-0 for the season, the Warriors fall to 2-1.

The Friars were down eight heading into the final period, and FD’s Baker, a sophomore, hit all four of his three-point attempts to spark a Friar comeback.

“The strategy going into that fourth quarter was just to read their defense and take what they gave us,” said Baker.

Baker said if they (St. Paul) focused more on guarding their bigs, it would open up the shooters. If the Warrior defense was focused more on the perimeter, then the Friars would feed their big men.

“We worked on reading (opposing) defenses in practice and ran plays based on the defense,” said Baker. With the Warriors focused on the FD bigs, Baker waited for his moment, and he made the most of it – hitting all of his open three’s.

Noah Tenorio stepped up when his team needed him most and was also crucial in the final moments of the game. Tenorio recorded a steal at mid-court and made the lay-up while getting fouled in the process to give FD the lead.

Late in the fourth, Tenorio lobbed an inbound baseline pass to Noah Cruz to put FD up by three. The Warriors had a couple of opportunities to force overtime but were unable to capitalize on free throws and were to make contested shots in the final minute.

The Warriors trailed at halftime and had a big third quarter to go up by eight. Leading the charge on offense were Raven Pascual and Kiko Stinnett. The pair sparked an 8-0 run with Pascual’s transition points and Stinnett hitting a three-pointer.

FD led 37-33 at halftime but were held to just 11 points in the third quarter, which allowed the Warriors to go up 56-48. Stinnett scored eight points in the third before heading to the bench with foul trouble.

Pascual had 18 points, seven rebounds, and five assists for the Warriors. Stinnett shot 6-9 from the field for 15 points, Michael Bork had 14 points and nine rebounds for St. Paul.

Baker led the Friars with 20 points, making 6-of-7 three-pointers. Noah Cruz had 13 points and five rebounds, Tenorio had seven points, nine rebounds, and two blocks for FD.

For the last five seasons, it’s been FD vs. St Paul in the IIAAG championship game. The rivalry runs deep between the two competitive teams, and this year is no different.

Last IIAAG champions (5 years)
2023 – FD def. St. Paul 69-66 in OT
POG – Yoshi Sayama
2022 – St Paul def. FD 55-45 in OT
POG – Xander Sanchez
2021 – FD def. St. Paul 70-53
POG – Daryll Robles
2020 – FD def. St. Paul 55-36
POG – Matt Fegurgur
2019 – St Paul def. FD 44-41
POG – Jahmar White

It’s early in the season, but will we see another rivalry championship game?
When asked about the rivalry, Baker said he’s simply happy to be a Friar. “It feels great to be on this team. We all worked hard to get here,” said Baker.

The Friars will host St. John’s next week on Tuesday, while the Warriors will host the ND Royals.

In the JV game, both teams went back and forth in regulation, and the game went into overtime. The Warriors made plays down the stretch to win 58-53. 

OTHER GAME

The Guam High Panthers handled the ND Royals 74-66.

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COMING SOON …

10th Micronesian Games from Marjuro June 15-24

Guam National Bodybuilding Championship June 29

QUICK HITS

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 on Sunday evening in Nogales, Mexico. The victory guaranteed the U.S. a spot in the 2025 FIVB U21 World Championship.
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Congratulations to the 2024 Guam Rugby Cup Champions: Tao Tao Mana (Men’s Cup Champions) and Southern Rugby Club (Women’s Cup Champions)

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