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The Guam Basketball Association champion has been crowned
GUAM – The second season of the Guam Basketball Association (GBA) has come to a close in thrilling fashion. The Harmon Loop Dental Toothfairies to on the MVP Stars in the best of three GBA championship series.
Boasting a number of Guam senior national team talent, the MVP Stars were favoured going into their finals matchup.
Joe Blas has been a staple in the Guam Men’s team for years now, most recently he was a starting member of the 2015 Pacific Games gold medal squad. JP Cruz was also an essential cog in Guam’s Pacific Games gold medal performance. Daren Hechanova is a senior national team star in the making, after his MVP performance for the 2016 FIBA 3x3 Pacific Championship gold medallists, Hechanova is solidifying his spot as a staple member of the national team.
The Toothfairies were not fazed by the Stars firepower, they relied upon great depth and their national team member, Jine Han, who helped Hechanova and Team Guam to the 2016 FIBA 3x3 Pacific Championship gold medal.
Game 1 was a nail-biter, after the MVP Stars held the lead for most the game, the Toothfairies made a late charge bring the Stars lead from 80-69 to 93-91 in the dying minutes. Egardo Baza of the Toothfairies raced down the court, finished the lay-in and drew the foul. With the Toothfairies’ chance to take their first lead of the night, Baza missed the free throw and neither team could convert their last second shot attempts sending the game to overtime.
In overtime, the Toothfairies converted on back to back threes to take a 100-106 lead with 20 seconds left. The Stars Cruz managed to answer back with a three of his own, he even managed to draw contact and convert the 4-point play. MVP then stole the inbounds pass and had two final shots under the basket to force double overtime but couldn’t get either to fall. The Toothfairies survived a 34-point outing from Blas and 27 from Cruz to take out game 1 106-104.
Game 2 saw Maks Kepwe come out firing for the Toothfairies, he scored the team's first 10 points of the game but couldn’t give them the lead heading into quarter time.
Joe Blas flies in for the first points of game 2 (photo by Robert Balajadia)
The Toothfairies turned up the defence in the next period, holding the Stars to just 9 points for the quarter while exploding for 26 points of their own. The stars put in a good showing in the 3rd, even cutting the lead to 4 points at one stage, but they couldn’t hold on as the Toothfairies closed out the game 92-82 to win their second straight GBA title.
Blas (34 points per game) and Cruz (25 points per game) were both dominant on the offensive end for the Stars but the MVP award went to the Toothfairies’ Maks Kepwe on the back of a 27 point, 9 rebound performance to take game 2 and the series.