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Clinches GHRA championship
IN A packed Tamuning gym, family and friends came out to cheer on their team in the 2012 GHRA Basketball League championship game.
After fighting their way through the playoffs, Team Justice and IP&E earned the right to battle each other for the league crown in the competitive division. When the final buzzer sounded, the scoreboard reflected a score of 64-58 in favor of Justice, giving them the rights to the league title.
From tipoff, IP&E came storming out of the gates and immediately opened the game with an 11-1 run backed by the hot shooting of Francis Benitez and Derrick Royster. It wasn't until four minutes into the game when Justice put a halt to the surge. Reggie Rechebong and Roque Charfauros ignited Justice to a small run of their own and cut the deficit to 13-12.
Both teams eventually found themselves in a 16-16 tie midway through the first half. Justice would take their first lead of the game after a John Chaco layup. However, IP&E responded with yet another run to rebuild a 26-20 lead with less than three minutes left on the clock. Rechebong dialed in from long distance to cut the Justice deficit in half. Before the halftime buzzer went off, Royster and teammate Manny Matagolai sank back-to-back baskets to give their team a 30-25 lead going into the break.
The start of the second half witnessed a different Justice team as whatever was discussed looked to have fired up the boys. In a nine-minute span, Justice capitalized on a 17-4 run that eventually gave them a 42-34 lead.
IP&E put a temporary halt to a streaking Justice team after Royster and teammate Edgardo Baza combined for four points. However, the sibling combo of Joaquin and Roque Charfauros took matters into their own hands to give Justice a 52-38 lead.
With less than five minutes left in the game, Justice was starting to taste championship. However, they respected the capabilities of IP&E and continued to apply pressure defensively. IP&E would eventually cut their deficit down to 58-50 late in the half. However, that would be as close as they would get as Justice finished the last two-and-a-half minutes going on a 10-4 run. When the final seconds of the game ticked off, Justice raised their arms in victory and celebrated their championship.
Rechebong and Roque Charfauros led Justice as they scored 15 points apiece. In the losing effort, Benitez led all scorers with a game-high 19 points, while teammate Royster added 17.