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Perfect Fiesta tops IT&E - Feb 16, 2017

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Fiesta Resort & Spa capped its undefeated run in the 2016 TanHoldings Christmas Basketball Tournament with a 48-32 victory over IT&E in their title match in the women's division last Saturday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium. The highly favored Fiesta was threatened only in the first quarter, but once it got into its rhythm, the eventual champion had cruise control en route to clinching the division championship. Fiesta finished the tournament unbeaten in nine matches, including a seven-game sweep in the elimination. Victory No. 8 came at the expense of Sun Palace, 41-20, allowing Fiesta to set up a title showdown against IT&E. In the winner-take-all finale, IT&E seemed ready to take a cue from Rollers 1's upset over the Sonics in the earlier boys U16 championship game as the former zoomed to a 6-0 advantage. Karleen Reyes knocked back-to-back triples to give IT&E a good start and drilled one more trey late in the opening canto to give her team a shaky lead, 11-10. Jan Travilla scored the 2 other points for IT&E, which moved into the finals after outclassing CTSI, 58-46. Fiesta trimmed the lead to a solitary point as it made two triples-one each from Chevy Kate Alipio and Jasmine Phan-and Irish Pagarao tallied 4 points. Another 10-point output in the second quarter put Fiesta on top at the break, as IT&E was held to 4 in that canto. Reyes and Travilla canned one field goal apiece in IT&E's meltdown. IT&E regrouped in the third quarter, however, Fiesta played its best offensive game in that frame to turn a 20-15 halftime edge to a baker's dozen lead, 38-25. Alipio starred for Fiesta in the penultimate period, dropping 9 markers in the third. Fiesta went on to keep the double-digit spread in the final canto, as IT&E was held without a field goal in the first six minutes and change of the payoff period and was limited to one free throw from Travilla. A long jumper from Tawnie Manibusan ended IT&E's silence, but the damage had been done, as Alipio finished off their foes by scoring her team's last 4 markers. Alipio had 6 in the final canto to top-score for Fiesta with her 19 markers. Pagarao chipped in 16 and she and Alipio's production were enough to offset IT&E's total output. Reyes paced IT&E with her 11 markers, but was scoreless in the second half. Travilla contributed 7, but made only two field goals and missed all her attempts from downtown. With Reyes off in the second half and Travilla also struggling on offense, it did not help that IT&E lacked players that could step up in the most important game of the season. No other IT&E players hit more than one field goal in their title loss.
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