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G-Rollers I gets sweet revenge in opener - Mar 18, 2004

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The Island-wide Village Youth Basketball League kicked off last Monday evening at the Garapan Court as 12 teams took part in a brief opening ceremony that was followed by the season opener between the defending champion Chalan Kanoa Saints and last year's runner-up G-Rollers I.
Aside from the Saints and the G-Rollers I, the cast of teams vying for the 2004 season title includes Koblerville, Afetnas 69ers, San Antonio Sixers, Chalan Kanoa Kings, G-Rollers II, Garapan Local Boyz, Matansa Lil Sparks, Manhoben Spiders, Capitol Hill Blaze I and II.
In attendance for the opening were Saipan Mayor Juan Tudela, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Juan L. Babauta, and Division of Sports and Recreation Director Tony Rogolifoi.
"You're all winners," said Babauta. "No matter if you win or lose a game, the most important thing is to play with sportsmanship," he added.
As for the action, coach Joe Diaz and his G-Rollers I avenged their nail-biting loss against the Saints in last year's finale and made a huge statement with a 59-35 victory.
The G-Rollers I quickly moved into the frontrunner's role as they controlled the first quarter and outscored their opponents, 17-7, for the early advantage.
The Saints finally gave a solid charge in the second period courtesy of a beefed up full-court pressure defense that forced several turnovers, enabling them to inch closer. The G-Rollers I, however, recovered in the dying minutes of the stanza and managed to keep their double-digit lead intact, 30-20.
Joemar Tumaquip of the G-Rollers I then caught fire in the third period and tormented the Saints with 10 points, spearheading a 12-4 run that left the C.K. team trailing by a huge margin with just one quarter remaining, 42-24.
The Saints refused to go down quietly and put up a desperate charge in the fourth quarter behind Joe Kim's 8 points, but the G-Rollers I were just in a zone of their own as they scored at will and were all smiles as the final buzzer sounded with them holding a 24-point victory margin.
Tumaquip led all scorers with 17 points, while Joe Pangelinan and Robert Naraja added 8 and 6 points for the G-Rollers I.
Kim paced the Saints with 12 points, while Lorenzo Sugiyama and Luizi Reyes contributed 10 and 5 points.
The league is sponsored by the Saipan Mayor's Office and the Division of Youth Services and is coordinated by DSR staff Joe Mettao and Joe Lizama.

G-Rollers I 59-Tumaquip 17, Pangelinan 8, Naraja 6, Phillip 5, Chariton 4, Nagata 4, Sablan 4, Ada 3, Castro 2, Lizama 2, Tellei 2, Aldan 2.
Saints 35-Kim 12, Sugiyama 10, Lu. Reyes 5, Villegas 4, Norita 2, Deleon Guerrero 2.

Scoring by quarters: 17-7, 30-20, 42-24, 59-35.

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