Ferrara leads Elite past Supreme in All-Star game - 12 days ago
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When the game was on the line, Aiden Ferrara stuck to the basics. While many of his teammates and opponents took advantage of a wide-open defensive game to throw up multiple three-pointers, Ferrara and a few others focused on scoring points the old-fashioned way - inside the key. Ferrara, a recent graduate from Okkodo High School, led Team Elite to a 90-87 victory over Team Supreme at the Wendy's Boys' High School All-Star Basketball Game on Monday at the Father Duenas Phoenix Center [read more]
When the game was on the line, Aiden Ferrara stuck to the basics. While many of his teammates and opponents took advantage of a wide-open defensive game to throw up multiple three-pointers, Ferrara and a few others focused on scoring points the old-fashioned way - inside the key. Ferrara, a recent graduate from Okkodo High School, led Team Elite to a 90-87 victory over Team Supreme at the Wendy's Boys' High School All-Star Basketball Game on Monday at the Father Duenas Phoenix Center. Ferrara led all scorers with 18 points, but it wasn't a bucket that earned him the Wendy's Player of the Game honors. With teammate John Buan (Simon Sanchez) on the free throw line and his team up 90-87 with 17.2 seconds left on the clock, Ferrara came up with an offensive rebound off a missed free-throw to thwart all chances of a comeback and secure the victory for Elite. He took a lighthearted but serious approach toward the game, he said. 'We were trying to win. I don't like losing. I mean, you either play for a purpose or don't play at all,' Ferrara said after the game. The tournament put together two teams coached by Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam High School Boys' Basketball League finals coaches Jin Han of the Simon Sanchez Sharks and Rey Serafico of the John F. Kennedy Islanders. Both coaches took part in a draft process that allowed them to select their choice of players from each school. Serafico had won the IIAAG title two years in a row with the Islanders, but lost the All-Star game consecutively. The disparity in offensive attacks would be easy to spot right off the beginning tip-off. Elite got off four points immediately from within five feet of the rim as Buan scored first, followed by Ferrara for a 4-0 lead. Supreme's first two baskets were from beyond the arc as Nathaniel Gaitan of George Washington High and Billy Belger of JFK each sank a three before another bucket inside by Ferrara tied the match at 6-6 with 7:54 on the clock. Rodney Taitague of Guam High sank two more 3-pointers, while Takumi Simon of St. John's added another for a total of five three-pointers for Supreme in the half. That halftime output was more than what Elite completed the entire game. Coach Han said that he wanted to make sure his players enjoyed this final game. 'I just asked for them to go out there and have fun and play hard. All these guys earned the right to put on this uniform and come out and play tonight,' said Han. 'We know that all of these guys are really good players - they are all the best of their respective high schools.' Han felt that if the team looked out for one another, things would open up for them. 'We wanted to set some screens so that we can set up easy shots and just have fun.' Elite's game plan worked well as they pulled ahead by 15 points in the third quarter when Devin Sudo scored on a layup for a 69-54 lead with 2:00 left in the quarter. Elite finished the quarter ahead 72-57. Supreme's high-powered offense made a run in the fourth quarter led by Gaitan, Simon and Mark Temerowski of Harvest. The trio combined for 20 points as Supreme outscored Elite 28-15 to cut the deficit to just two points at 87-85 with 2:20 left in the game. After a free throw by Elite, Supreme's Chris Conner of JFK closed the gap to 88-87 on a basket with 36 seconds remaining. Supreme managed another free throw before a foul placed Buan on the line, setting Ferrara up for his late-game heroics. Supreme had a few chances late in the game, but lost both opportunities off of turnovers. Courtesy of: guampdn.com
Guam commemorates Memorial Day with high school All-Star event - 12 days ago
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Guam recently held its second annual Wendy's Boys High School Basketball All-Star game. The event was played on Memorial Day evening at the FD Phoenix Center. Team Supreme head coach Rey Serafico and Team Elite head coach Jin Han picked their teams from a pool of the best high school boys basketball players Guam has to offer. Team Supreme's Serafico built his team around the league's best shooters and scorers who could all catch fire at any point during the game [read more]
Guam recently held its second annual Wendy's Boys High School Basketball All-Star game. The event was played on Memorial Day evening at the FD Phoenix Center. Team Supreme head coach Rey Serafico and Team Elite head coach Jin Han picked their teams from a pool of the best high school boys basketball players Guam has to offer. Team Supreme's Serafico built his team around the league's best shooters and scorers who could all catch fire at any point during the game. The stars of team Supreme consisted of sophomore Takumi Simon, Billy Belger and Rodney Taitague who were all a major threat from behind the arc. Team Elite's Han chose players with quickness and handles like Michael Min, Vern Gustilo, Kobe Sotelo and John Buan, who could push the tempo and excite the crowd. Early in the piece, Serfico's shoot-at-will philosophy seemed to be working with Team Supreme's first 12 points of the game all coming from the three-point line. Team Elite managed to stay close with a solid inside-outside game. Near the end of the first quarter, Team Elite took their first lead on the back of some strong play inside from John Buan (Sanchez) and Hance Barcinas (ND). This lead was slashed to one point when Mark Temerowski (Harvest) finished a tip in on the buzzer. The second quarter was a bit of a track meet with both teams getting out in transition. With the lead shifting back and forth, it looked like the game was going into the half tied at 43. But with only 6 seconds left, Team Elite executed perfectly to snatch the lead before the half on the back of Gustillo's floater at the buzzer. The Elites came out on fire in the third quarter, extending the lead to 11 early before ending the third quarter up 79-61. Team Supreme wasn't going away though, starting the fourth with an 11-2 run, cutting the lead to just two points thanks to a layup from Nate Lorenzo (Okkodo). Both teams went back and forth until the Elite led 89-87. Supreme attacked to try and tie the game but turned the ball over and had to foul the Elite which sent them to the line. Buan hit the first and missed the second but a big-time offensive rebound from Team Elite assured the 90-87 victory over Team Supreme. The MVP honours went to Aiden Ferrara of Team Elite who ended with a game-high 18 points on the night. Overall the event was a huge success and a great way to honour those who have given their lives to protect the people of Guam. Courtesy of: fiba.com
Team Guam won the hearts of the fans - then won the gold. Playing in front of a packed house chanting 'Gu-wam, Gu-wam,' the Guam men's national basketball team defeated Fiji 78-61 to claim the gold medal in a talent-packed field of teams. The victory ends a 36-year drought in which Guam has made numerous gold medal games, but was unable to come out the victor. That victory came in 1979 at the South Pacific Games in Suva, Fiji. With big-man Tai Wesley (200-F-86, college: Utah St.) in foul... [read more]
Team Guam won the hearts of the fans - then won the gold. Playing in front of a packed house chanting 'Gu-wam, Gu-wam,' the Guam men's national basketball team defeated Fiji 78-61 to claim the gold medal in a talent-packed field of teams. The victory ends a 36-year drought in which Guam has made numerous gold medal games, but was unable to come out the victor. That victory came in 1979 at the South Pacific Games in Suva, Fiji. With big-man Tai Wesley (200-F-86, college: Utah St.) in foul trouble, team captain William Stinnett (186-G-86, college: Wenatchee Valley CC) carried more of the offensive load with 18 points - the most he's scored all tournament. Teammate Joe Blas led all scorers with 21 points. Guam was able to fight off an imposing Fiji team that used three players over 6'4' to start the match. The strategy frustrated Guam's players as the Fijians would feed the ball to Marques Whippy (193-PF-86, college: BYU-Hawaii), Joshua Fox (198-F) or Mataika Koyamainavura who used their height to attack the rim. Guam head coach Edward Calvo countered that attack inserting Jonathan Galloway into the lineup. Galloway's defense forced Fiji to alter shots under the rim and kick the ball out - or get blocked. Guam built a 10-point lead at halftime and maintained a 51-44 lead prior to the start of the final quarter. And although they built up a 14-point lead with just five minutes to go, the Fijians were never truly out of the match until JP Cruz hit the last of his four three-pointers to lead 66-49 with 3:50 left on the clock. With just 2:03 left in the match, Galloway put an exclamation point on the victory with an alley-oop dunk from Wesley that brought the crowd to its feet and the game out of reach at 70-55. 'Three and a half years working out and it all paid off,' said assistant coach Danny Payumo. 'This was the goal. Thanks for all the support, from all the wives and all the girlfriends that stood by this team, all the family members. But really, a lot of it goes to their wives and girlfriends who put up with a lot of time being spent on the basketball court and putting in the work.' The win was one that they could be proud of, said Guam National Olympic Committee President Rick Blas. 'These guys worked real hard for it and I'm very proud of them. They stayed in it and stayed focused,' he said. 'Everyone played their hearts out and they deserve this win.' Blas said it was one of the biggest moments for the island, because so many times Guam got so close, but fell short. 'With Jonathan and Tai complimenting the rest of the team, they did really well. I'm proud of them - especially for Seve (Susuico) - his father was in the '75 team (on Guam) and now he's taken over.' It was a long road back to the gold after finishing in second too many times, according to Susuico. 'I've got three silvers now and one gold,' said Susuico. 'It's the best feeling ever! It feels good to be on this side and not on that side over there for once. It's the best feeling in the world. Now me and my Dad have three golds - we're even now.' According to Edward Calvo , the team was prepared for a dogfight with Fiji and wasn't going to relax down the stretch. 'We knew the first half was going to be tight. (Fiji) was in the gold medal match for a reason, so we weren't expecting to run away with the game - we knew it was going to be a grind,' he said. 'We weren't worried if we were down by a few points, or up by a few points, we just wanted to continue executing.' Edward Calvo reminded his team that they had to come out with more conviction after the first half, because Fiji put Guam on the ropes in their earlier match, which Guam won by overtime 75-72. 'When we finally went on a real run in the third quarter, we were able hold it this time. That was the main thing. They came back on us earlier in the tournament and we didn't want that to happen again.' The win has a special place in Edward Calvo 's heart - Edward Calvo was on the 2007 team that lost to Fiji in Noumea, New Caledonia. 'They beat us in the gold so this win is a great feeling. There are some guys on this team that have lost three gold medal games in the past and we finally won one. It puts Guam basketball on the next level of FIBA qualifiers, so we're ready for what comes next.' For now, the players will enjoy the win and bring the gold medal back to the island and its people, according to Susuico. 'This was for the people of Guam. Everything we do is for the people of Guam, he said. Courtesy of: guampdn.com
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