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BACKED by the loud cheers coming from their family and friends surrounding the Tamuning Gym floor, the Inarajan Heat and Mongmong-Toto-Maite Falcons provided everyone with a thrilling and intense basketball game in the 2012 Summer Jam Basketball League 16-under competitive division.
Both teams battled one another through a game that needed an overtime period to declare a winner. When all the dust settled and the two minutes of extra time expired, it was the Heat who edged out their opponents 48-46.
With four seconds left in the game and Inarajan holding on to a 44-41 lead, the Falcons called a timeout to draw up a strategic plan. Taking the ball out from the sidelines, MTM was able to get the ball to Joshua McCarrel who scrambled to get open. As the buzzer sounded, McCarrel’s shot from beyond the arc found nothing but the bottom of the net to tie the game and send it into overtime.
“That shot that Joshua took looked good from the release and it was just a beautiful shot,” said Inarajan’s Dominic Afaisen. “We had our chances to close out the game, but we just didn’t convert towards the end.”
At the start of the overtime period, Jonard Serafico converted on one of two free throws to give his team a 45-44 lead. Both teams had some difficulty nailing jump shots as time continued to wind down. With less than a minute left in the game, a foul by the Falcons put Chaz Nangauta at the charity stripe. Nangauta sank both to give the Heat a one-point lead.
MTM was able to equalize the game at 46-46 when David Sakazaki made a free throw. As the clock was down to its final 14 seconds of the game, MTM was forced to foul which put David Diego on the line. Diego was money from the stripe as he converted both shots to give his team a 48-46 lead. That was all the Heat needed as their defense held ground. As the buzzer sounded, they held on to their lead for the win.
In the early parts of the game, Inarajan’s duo of Nangauta and Afaisen combined for 10 points to lead their team in a 12-2 run that gave them a double-digit lead two minutes into the game. MTM’s Arvin Flores was able to put a halt to the run after draining a trey. Not too long after, the Falcons’ Philip Taijeron and McCarrel hit back-to-back shots to trim their deficit to 12-9.
Both teams started to put on a display of effective perimeter shooting as they traded baskets for the remainder of the half. After the Heat’s Afaisen returned an offensive rebound for a bucket, MTM’s Serafico made a 3 as the first half came to an end, making it a 22-20 game going into the break.
Inarajan’s Nangauta led the Heat offense scoring 13 points, while teammates Afaisen and Diego dropped 10 points apiece. McCarrel’s 13 points led the Falcons, while teammate Serafico added six.