The KFC Andersen Air Force Base Bombers won the title during the spring 2023 Triton Men’s Basketball League championship hosted by the University of Guam Athletics Department last week.
The Bombers defeated the MVP Stars 92-90.
Team OG finished in third place by beating the UOG Tritons in overtime.
In the title game, the Bombers held a tight lead over the Stars 22-21 by the end of the first quarter. The Stars struggled with success behind the arc and honed their energy under the basket.
By the second half, MVP took the lead 41-38. A combined 13 points from Darren Hechanova and JP Cruz resulted in the Stars outscoring the Bombers 20-16 in the second quarter.
MVP led by 10 points within the first three minutes of the second half.
The Bombers’ Chris Conner built momentum for his team in the second period after he and teammate Jaden Finley scored 16 of the Bombers’ 27 points in the third quarter to even the score at 65.
Both teams kept a close scoring game for the entire fourth period. Cruz, heavily guarded by the Bombers, found his shot with short-range jumpers and quick looks for a 3-pointer. He scored 14 points in the fourth quarter.
Bombers’ Garrington Simpson used his speed to outrun MVP defense and maneuvered his way toward 12 points for the quarter.
The Bombers took a 92-87 lead with 30 seconds left. Cruz hit a 3-pointer with seconds to spare, but it was not enough for the Stars to steal the win.
Simpson and Finley led the Bombers with 25 points apiece. Cruz finished with 30 points and Vince Estella added 19 points.
Overtime settles third place
The matchup between Team OG and the Tritons was neck and neck. The Tritons had a four-point lead with three minutes left in the first quarter, but a solid run by OG late in the period gave them a 23-21 lead at the end of 10 minutes.
Team OG led by nine points halfway through the second quarter, outscoring the Tritons 27-21, and securing a 50-42 lead at the end of the first half. Cisco Uncangco scored four of his seven 3-pointers in the first half to help the Tritons remain competitive.
The Tritons regained the lead 55-54 halfway through the third quarter. Both teams bounced back and forth by regaining and chasing the lead. Despite the Tritons outscoring Team OG 30-24 and Manny Soriano’s 12-point performance, the Tritons trailed by two points at the end of the third quarter.
Both teams pushed their best efforts in the fourth quarter. With less than two minutes left in the period, the score was tied at 92 apiece. Tritons and OGs hit 3-point shots to break free from the draw. With less than 30 seconds remaining, Amram Yobei took the game into his hands with two acrobatic possessions to give the Tritons the lead 101-98. Eric Reyes hit a 3-point buzzer-beater to send the game into overtime.
Team OG, with only a seven-man roster, outlasted the Tritons in overtime and scored 21 points to win the game, 122-114.
Reyes led Team OG with 32 points. Tristan Valdez, Vince Espinal, and Chris Change scored 21, 20, and 18 points, respectively. UOG’s Yobei scored 30 points and Soriano finished with 28 points.