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PLAYOFF action in the Guam Youth Basketball Association (GYBA) Summer Youth Basketball League got underway Wednesday night at the Guam Sports Complex.
In the 16-under division, the Yellow Jackets took on the Barrigada Crusaders Red. At the end of 40 minutes of play, the Crusaders took the sting out of the Yellow Jackets and garnered the 51-41 victory.
The opening minutes of the game witnessed both teams coming out strong and equally trading baskets to keep the game tight-knit. Barrigada got things going when Jason Frias converted on a turnaround jumper for a quick 2-0 lead. Two plays later, the Yellow Jackets took over with a 4-2 lead after Justin Borja and Christian Acosta made back-to-back baskets.
Tied at six midway through the first, the Crusaders mounted the game’s first run and opened up a 12-6 lead. The Yellow Jackets stayed composed despite trailing and eventually came back in the quarter’s final minutes to outscore the Crusaders 10-5. Barrigada held a slim one-point advantage at the completion of one.
Both teams continued their hot shooting in the second period and neither was willing to give up anything more than a two-point lead. The Yellow Jackets managed to build a 26-23 lead backed by the precision shooting of Logan Kanemoto. However, the Crusaders answered back with four straight points from Frias to regain the lead. At the sound of the buzzer to signal halftime, the Crusaders held on to a two-point (32-30) lead.
At the start of the second half, both teams seemed to have slowed the pace of the game down and focused more on a half court set. With half the clock expended, Barrigada’s Joe Zapanta and Lester Gaitan helped build a 39-34 lead after combining for seven points. The Yellow Jackets’ Borja responded by draining a baseline jumper to trim two points off their deficit. However, just before the third period came to a close, Frias upped the Crusaders’ lead back to five at 41-36.
In the final quarter, the Yellow Jackets tried effortlessly to get back into the game. The closest they would get was within four (43-39) after Borja converted a layup. From that point on, it was all Crusaders as they closed the game out, going on an 8-2 run. When the game clock struck zero, it was the Crusaders who claimed stake to victory and advances in the post-season.
GYBA post-season action at the Guam Sports Complex resumes action tomorrow with several games on tap.