Marianas Variety

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    Friday, September 20, 2019-6:05:38P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Ol’Aces secure finals spot

THE Ol’Aces U18 and U16 teams have locked in their spots in the finals of the 2019 Pacific Amusement & NMI Rollers Youth Basketball League after eliminating their opponents on Saturday at the Koblerville gym.

The Ol’Aces’ Coby Santos rises up for the block during a previous game in the 2019 Youth Basketball League at the Koblerville gym. Photo by James F. Sablan Jr.

The U18 Ol’Aces had to work hard as they barely escaped the clutches of the Sonics, 64-58.

It was a nail-biting match from start to finish but the Ol’Aces’ ability to stay in control was the key to victory.

Coby Santos was the go-to guy as he executed every play, contributing from all aspects. He played physical, racking up six points, with two coming from the free throw line, and added 11 more points late in the first half to lead the run. He not only supported from the offensive side but in the defensive end as well, grabbing six rebounds, one steal and two assists.

The Sonics managed to linger behind, thanks to their teamwork. Adi Ordona stood at the frontline, carrying his team with eight points, and had help from Khristian Itaas and Clarenz Contreras to narrow the gap to three points, 28-31.

The Sonics continued to fight throughout the second half of the game. This time it was Itaas that took over using his speed and handles to slip past defenders and draw a couple of fouls in the process. When he was not going for the drive he attacked from afar, draining three triples to add to his 15 points in the second half alone.

Despite the Sonics’ efforts, they could not put a stop to Ol’Aces’ offensive capabilities.

Santos picked up where he left off, meeting the line countless times where he marked three points. With the help of Kiku Hapdei’s eight points, and Andruw Omelau’s five, the Ol’Aces were able to run away with the victory, 64-58.

U16 Ol’Aces 48, U16 Rollers 45

The U16 Ol’Aces also faced a tough battle but managed to stand tall in the end against the U16 Rollers, 48-45.

It was a seesaw battle as neither team wanted to give up control. Ervin Villarin and Jayart Palmes acted as the fuel for the Rollers. Villarin constantly attacked the rim while Palmes shot from the distance. But so did the Ol’Aces who distributed the points evenly. Jestin L. dominated the board with six rebounds while Craig B, Greg Deleon Guerrero and Trey Thrino aided on the offensive side. Their team trailed by only one point, 18-19.

But when it came down to the final push, it was a game of hustle and that’s where the Ol’Aces excelled. Deleon Guerrero never stopped producing buckets, leading the second half with 10 points alongside Craig B. who denied two shots and added a few more buckets to gain control. Villarin, Palmes and Anthony Lajara tried to keep the Rollers alive but their misses kept them behind giving the Ol’Aces enough breaks to secure the win, 48-45, and make it to the finals.