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Claim U10 GYBA championship
THE Guam Youth Basketball Association (GYBA) Drug Free Basketball League U10 Championship game Tuesday night pitted the titans of the 10-year-olds, Yellow Jackets Blue taking on Yellow Jackets White.
Playing inside the Astumbo Gymnasium in Dededo with monsoon conditions of torrential rain, bone-chilling thunder and cracking lightning outside, the pint-sized performers put on a show for their parents, relatives, coaches and fans.
It took a couple of minutes of feeling each other out and posturing for position, but at the three-minute mark into the opening period, Yellow Jackets White's Allan Aranas drove the lane and banked one in for two points. (Aranas had nine points for the night.)
On the Yellow Jackets Blue’s ensuing possession, Shaun Gumataotao stole the ball and connected with an assist to the team’s star denizen of the dribble, Thelo-Ha Orichiro, who scored a game-high 19 points.
With two minutes remaining in the opening period and the game knotted at 2-2, Aranas made one of two technical free throws off a “too many players on the court violation” to give White a 3-2 lead, which proved to be their last lead of the ballgame.
Apparently, trailing White didn’t sit well for Yellow Jackets Blue, prompting the blue-ballers to go on a 10-2 run and closing out the first half, 12-5. Orichiro accounted for eight Blues points, while Gumataotao got in on the action with a deuce, courtesy of an Orichiro steal and assist.
The third quarter saw Yellow Jackets White’s Allan Aranas open play with back-to-back-to-back driving buckets, scoring all six of his teams points and inching his team back within one (12-11). However, by game’s end, 11 points would be White’s final score tally.
The fourth quarter belonged to the game’s most valuable player, Blue’s Orichiro, who helped his team pull away from White, exploding for nine of his team’s final-period points, and helping his team claim the championship by the final score of 29-11. Also chipping in with a bucket apiece were Blue’s Carlsen, Gumataotao and Anjanette Ponce.
In a post-game interview, Yellow Jackets Blue head coach Larry Bulala commented on what he told his team when they were leading by only one point (12-11) late in the second period: “I told them just to play hard, play your game and never give up. We told our main guy, Thelo, just to take the ball if he can. He was giving the chance to other people (teammates) but it seemed like they were not playing their game today. So I told him if he had a chance to take the shot, take the shot. I am so proud of him.”