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ROMERO, TENORIO LEAD FRIARS TO ANOTHER IIAAG HOOPS CHAMPIONSHIP

Friars to challenge Geckos in the annual GSPN Champion vs Champion match

By Jay Leon Guerrero

Undefeated and undisputed. The Father Duenas Friars defeated the Guam High Panthers 64-56 to win their fourth IIAAG Boys basketball championship in the last five years in front of a capacity crowd at the UOG Calvo Fieldhouse.

FD’s frontcourt duo of Jamel Romero and Noah Tenorio continued to dominate with both forwards recording double-doubles.

Romero saved one of his best games for last scoring 18 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. “This is my first time playing here. This is a special group. They all play hard and play together,” said Romero.

“All that hard work paid off,” said Tenorio, who had 15 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists. “I’m happy for the team. We got it all done as a team tonight.”

The Friars led the game from start to finish and had a spark off the bench from shooting guard Colin Baker. Baker, a sophomore, scored 8 of his 11 points in the first quarter to help FD establish a 19-8 lead. 

Brantley Scores 38

Guam High’s Cameron Brantley put in a solid effort with 38 points, 18 rebounds, and six steals. Brantley was aggressive from the opening whistle and drove hard to the basket throughout the contest. His aggressiveness earned him an IIAAG championship game record with 26 free throw attempts.

The Panthers trailed 31-49, entering the fourth period, and cut the deficit to eight points with Brantley and Aaron Johnson scoring to start the period on a quick 6-0 run.

The Friars sensed a comeback and remained composed with Alfred Leon Guerrero and Phil Guerrero making plays with three minutes left in regulation to go back up by 12.

Johnson ended the game with eight points and four steals. Guam High’s center Jayden Newell had five points and 10 rebounds.

Time was not on Guam High’s side, and head coach Jimmy Yi put in his seniors to end the final minute of the game. Friar Nation stormed the court at the final buzzer to celebrate back-to-back titles.

“This group is special, I’m proud of them,” said Yi. “They wanted to win together, and they made sacrifices. It’s rare to find a team as selfless as this one,” added Yi.

Champions vs. Champion
The Friars will have little time to celebrate with one more game on Sunday in the annual GSPN champion vs. champion game. FD, the IIAAG champion, will go against the ISA champion, GW Geckos. The big game will be this Sunday at 7 pm at the Phoenix Center.

In the consolation third place game, the St Paul Warriors defeated the ND 58-54. 

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