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THE 2012 Summer Jam Basketball League playoffs officially got underway this past weekend at the Tamuning Gym.
In the 8-under coed division, the Sixers Club and Asan-Maina Rai got things started as both teams were vying for a chance to advance. At the end of a very well-played game by both teams, Asan-Maina moved on after picking up the 26-18 victory over their opponents.
The Rai came out in the first three minutes of the first half trying to set the tempo of the game early on. Backed by the shooting of Aaron Apiag and Eron Fejeran, Asan-Maina built an early 6-0 lead. The Sixers were able to put a stop to the early surge after Nicolas Espinal drained a short jumper.
Asan-Maina eventually built a 12-2 lead with a little more than half the time on the clock burnt. However, just when things were looking gloomy for the Sixers, a motivated team returned from a timeout ready to get themselves back into the game. Together with Espinal, teammates Devrin Gumabon and Rockie-Jae Mesa combined for eight points to bring their team with a basket (12-10) going into the halftime break.
Returning from the short breather, Asan-Maina’s Shawn Lampareyo converted a layup to put his team up 14-10. However, the Sixers refused to go down silently and responded with back-to-back baskets from Farren “Five-O” Simbahan and Espinal to equalize the game. For the next couple of minutes both teams traded baskets to keep the game close.
With the score 18-18 later in the game, the Rai called a timeout in hopes of creating something that’ll change the pace of the game. Whatever was said in the timeout proved to work for Asan-Maina as they closed out the final three minutes going on an 8-0 run. As time continued to tick away, the Sixers Club was forced to make baskets. However, a tenacious Rai defense prevented any more scoring and held on for the win.
Apiag led Asan-Maina, scoring a game-high 10 points. In the losing effort, the Sixers’ Espinal matched Apiag and pumped in 10 points of his own.