After a summer of grinding it out at Tamuning gym, it was all about the hardware Sunday at the 2019 SummerJam Day of Champions. From 8U hoopsters to the men's varsity division, championship bouts were fast and furious as 14 teams in seven divisions battled it out for hardwood supremacy.
Team Velocity closed out the full day of basketball, doubling up on the Tamuning Typhoons, 48-24, to capture the SummerJam 18U Title.
Jon Michael Lorena led the Velocity attack with a game-high 15 points and was named the 18U Most Valuable Player and Top Scorer for the tournament.
“This league was a good practice, tried to work on my defense the most,” Lorena told The Guam Daily Post after accepting the 18U MVP medal. “When our defense is working, our offense really starts flowing.”
That was how the script went on Sunday with the Velocity defense stifling any attempt by the Typhoons to get going. Balthasar Felisan, Kevin Cabral and Lenard Baul gave the Typhoon ballhandlers fits in the frontcourt with pressure defense.
A driving layup by Lorena gave Velocity a 12-4 lead at the 13-minute mark of the first half.
Typhoons stayed within striking distance with a steal and layup by Matt Ecijan, narrowing the gap to 12-7.
An alert steal by Francis Borja and pass to Cole Tamonte under the basket for a wide-open shot at the buzzer to cut the lead to 17-12 at the half.
The Typhoons stayed aggressive in the first half and had their chances from the charity stripe. Tamuning managed to convert on just 4-of-16 from the free throw line.
Both teams struggled to open the second half until a turnaround jumper by Felisan broke the three-minute scoring drought, cutting the deficit to 17-14.
Velocity turned up the defensive pressure with a full-court trap, sparking a 15-2 run to help seal the win.
Baul found Lorena with a perfect pass under the basket. Felisan stole the inbounds and went right back up for two more points, then followed with another steal and coast-to-coast layup to open a 32-16 advantage.
Felisan had 12 points for Team Velocity in the win.
Francis Borja and Jacobe Quinata had a team-high seven points for the Typhoons.
Cabral, an incoming senior on the Okkodo High School basketball team, said he liked the energy his team brought on defense.
“Key on defense is all about talking, communication is where it’s at,” said Cabral.
Cabral added that almost all the players can play one through five positions, making it hard for other teams to match up. That versatility gave the Typhoons fits as they struggled to find any continuity in their offense.
In other age brackets
• The Dededo Yellow Jackets successfully defended their title against the Agat Stars, taking home the trophy. The Yellow Jackets' Trystan Santos was named MVP for the 8U matchup, while Agat Stars' Damian Sanchez took home the top-scoring honors for the season.
• The Tamuning Typhoons defended home court against the Agat Stars to keep the trophy in Tamuning. The Typhoons' Ruiji Yasuda was named MVP for the 10U division, while teammate Mario Bork received top-scoring honors for the season.
• In the 12U division, the Raiders club took home first-place honors over the Tamuning Typhoons. The Raiders' Jordan Madrazo swept both MVP and Top Scorer for the day.
• In the 14U division, the Azkals beat the Phoenix for coveted bragging rights. The Azkals' Jesse Torres was named MVP for the title game, while Eli Ogo from the Phoenix took home the Top Scorer award.
• In the adult coed recreational division, ASC Trust survived a furious rally in the final minutes of the game to escape with the single-digit win over Team Savage. ASC's Ernest Aquino was named MVP for the ship, while Savage's Tristan Tapia owned the paint throughout the season to take home the Top Scorer award.
• In the men's varsity division, the KFC Bombers lit up the boards for a trophy victory over Team Lagman. KFC's Divine Cox swept the MVP and Top Scorer award for the tournament.
Tournament coordinator Elsa Ulloa thanked the sponsors for continually making the tournament a success over the last decade: Triple J, Ernst & Young, LLP, Sagua Managu, Ada's Trust Investment, Mr. Rubbishman, Tan Siu Lin Foundation, ACAS and the Office of the Mayor for Tamuning-Tumon-Harmon.