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PLAYOFF action in the 2012 GHRA Basketball League resumed last night at the Tamuning Gym.
Playing out of the Recreational Division losers bracket, both Triple J and MidPac faced elimination and needed a victory to stay alive. In a game filled with intensity and action, Triple J surged late in the game to defeat MidPac, 39-33. With the win, Triple J advances in the playoffs and will take on Outrigger.
At tipoff, it was MidPac who struck first as Alex Aflague sunk a short jumper less than 10 seconds into the game to take the early 2-0 lead.
However, Triple J didn’t waste any time responding as Junior Changar scored four straight points to give his team a 4-2 lead. It would seem as if the game was going to be a trade-off on shots made after Aflague tied the game at four.
With less than 15 minutes reflected on the game clock, Triple J created the game’s first run as they outscored MidPac 8-0 in a span of two minutes, forcing a timeout to be called.
Upon returning from the one-minute talk, MidPac seemed to have regrouped as they narrowed the gap to 13-11. Nic Santos led the mini-surge, sinking back-to-back baskets including a shot from downtown.
The pace of the game seemed to slow down with less than five minutes in the half. After Triple J’s Sinivester Rewin swished a 10-foot jumper to give his team an 18-15 lead, it all came to a halt. Neither team was able to find the mark and the last four minutes of the opening half expired without any further scoring.
Returning from the break, Triple J picked up where they left off as Rodney Simina dialed long distance and drained a 3 to give his team a 21-15 lead. After forcing two straight turnovers, Triple J upped their lead to 10 points and were looking to put the game away. However, MidPac had other intentions in mind. Led by Santos and Abe Termirez, MidPac went on a huge 11-0 run to give them their first lead (26-25) since the opening tipoff.
It didn’t take Triple J long to find an answer defensively as they converted three turnovers into points and retook the lead at 31-26. However, it was from that point on when things got interesting as fouls forced Triple J to put MidPac in the bonus. Led by Santos and Cliff Claybrooks’ five made free throws, the game was equalized at 31-31 with less than three minutes to go.
MidPac eventually regained a 33-31 advantage after Santos found an opening in the Triple J zone defense for the bucket. However, with less than a minute left in the game, Triple J closed out with a six-point run led by Raymond Asanori’s three points. The final buzzer would sound, giving Triple J the victory and eliminating MidPac from the playoffs.
Changar and Simina led Triple J offensively scoring 13 and nine points, respectively. In the losing effort, Santos and Termirez pumped in 13 and nine points.
2012 GHRA playoffs action resumes tomorrow with three games slated to be played.