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FRIARS ON TOP OF THE BASKETBALL WORLD

FD holds on in wild game over GW to be crowned Champion of Champions

By Carmen Gogue

The Father Duenas Friars completed a perfect season grabbing the coveted ‘Champion of Champions’ title after beating the George Washington Geckos 66-65 in the highly anticipated GSPN Champion vs Champion boys basketball match Sunday evening in front of a standing-room-only packed crowd at the Phoenix Center.

In one of the most exciting high school basketball games to date ever on island, FD’s star baller Noah Tenorio led the Friars with 13 points.

MUST WATCH REPLAY OF THE GAME!

Teammate Colin Baker had ice in his veins swishing three three-point shots in the fourth quarter, one of which was a 4-point play. “It felt great to hit those threes. But without my team, I wouldn’t be able to hit those. They brought up the energy and made me feel like I could hit anything,” said Baker.

Despite coming up short for the win, Kaden Apiag had a game-high 29 points to lead the Geckos.

The Friars led throughout the entire first half by as much as eight points which looked to be another easy victory until the Geckos entered the latter half with their own eight-point lead 41-33, the largest lead any team has had over the undefeated and undisputed Friars.

Not a soul left the jam packed building as the crowd locked in to witness what could’ve been the biggest sports upset of the year.

As the third quarter ended with GW remaining in the lead at 41-38, Apiag opened the final quarter with a show stopping baseline bucket for the Geckos. Friars Jacob Reyes quickly answered back with a short jumper and pristine layup to cut the Geckos lead 43-42.

Peter Aguon pulled up for a three-pointer, sinking it with fashion to wild up the Gecko fans and increase the lead back at 46-42 until Aguon received a technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct forcing bonus free throws for the Friars.

Baker, the flawless three-point shooter for FD was chosen to shoot the bonus free throws. Swishing both, he cut the deficit to 46-44. Not too long after, Baker did what he’s known for and knocked down his first three pointer to snatch the lead back at 47-46.

Both teams continued to share one-to-two-point leads with even the crowds having their own cheer exchanges to bring the gym to life. GW’s Apiag scoring skills and a pair of bonus free throws by Djay Osborn led the Geckos to a 65-57 lead.

With the last minute running down, the Geckos appeared to have secured the win until FD’s Noah Cruz sunk a three-pointer. Baker backed Cruz with another three drawing a foul for an extra point and a 7-0 run to put the Friars just one point to the Geckos 65-64.

The Friars entered further foul trouble sending Geckos Daran Treltas and Apiag to the shooting line. FD found themselves lucky as both missed all four of their bonus shots.

With FD back in possession, Tenorio darted down the court for a powerful take to the basket when he was called for a charge for his fifth personal foul at 17 seconds left in the game.

“Man you know when you win a championship game you tend to forget about the bad plays or bad turnovers. At the end of the day, my team and I worked really hard for this,” said Tenorio.

Apiag was then called for a defensive foul on Cruz. Cruz was seen to be injured forcing a substitute for the Friars. Head coach Jimmy Yi called on Tobias Quitugua to shoot the free throws.

“Tobias has been one of our best free throw shooters the entire season,” said Yi.

Quitugua stepped on the court not one bit phased by the roaring Geckos crowd or the pressure of shooting the two biggest shots that sealed the win for his team as he netted both to put his team up by one 66-65 with 7.2 seconds left.

In a final attempt, Osborn shot up a three that hit the backboard and bounced in then out of the hoop as the final buzzer sounded leaving the Geckos with a tough loss.

Junior Varsity Champions

In the junior varsity champion vs champion game, The St. Paul Warriors beat the George Washington Geckos 73-43 Sunday evening. Both teams tied in the first quarter 14-14 and 23-23 in the second quarter until the Warriors went on a 17-0 run to pull away for a 30-point blowout win over the Geckos.

RJ Williams and Colin Rillamas led the Warriors with 17 points each with teammate Omar Henser contributing 14 points.

Hosea Gogue led the Geckos with a game-high 23 points.

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COMING SOON …

4th Quarter Sports

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