BOMI Ralik Ratak Shootout fifth day results
Basketball fans in Majuro were treated to a buffet of non-stop run and gun basketball as eight teams competed on day five of the BOMI 12th Ralik Ratak Shootout Invitational Basketball Tournament in Majuro.
The two men’s games — Mejit v Rongelap and Arno v Likiep — were so closely contested that they were not decided until the final buzzer blew to end the games. Meanwhile, the two women’s games — Arno v Jaluit and Mejit v Majuro — were both closely contested until the end of the fourth quarter. The games kicked off at 5pm at the College of the Marshall Islands court and wrapped up close to midnight with Arno and Likiep fans screaming for their teams to win.
To start off the day of basketball action, Jaluit challenged Arno in the women's bracket. This is the first year Arno has fielded a women’s team for the Ralik Ratak Shootout. Although Arno has three players who were on the RMI national team that went to Guam in September, Team Jaluit stayed within four points of the more experienced Arno team through the end of the third quarter. In the fourth, Arno stepped up its offense to seal the victory, 32-24. Arno’s Neri Wase led all scorers with 12 points and her sister Yone Wase dropped in six. Dolly Jude led Jaluit with five points.
The Mejit-Rongelap men’s game was fast paced and physical as the Rongelap side eked out a 67-66 victory. The lead changed hands numerous times in this game as first one side would go up by several points, only to see its lead dwindle under an offensive onslaught by its opponent. Bolot Paul and Junior Anuntak had the hot hands for Mejit in the first half, with Junior nailing two long three-point shots and Bolot scoring inside. For Rongelap, Dexter Jikit was the man, scoring his team’s first points and its last on free throws. He scored 14 of his team’s last 16 points to push them to victory. He scored 24 for the game, followed by Anderson Jillar with 14 and Raul Quinit with 8. For Mejit, Bolot scored 14 points followed by Junior with 13, and Fenton deBrum with eight.
Mejit and Majuro women’s teams were the two best in the Constitution Day 2012 competition in Majuro, and it showed as they went head-to-head Saturday night in the 8pm game. They played to a 13-13 tie in the first quarter. Majuro managed to push out to a five-point lead by the half, 23-18. But Mejit cut it by one to 34-30 at the end of three. Many missed shots and turnovers by Mejit in the fourth quarter helped Majuro to take control of the game in the fourth. Final score 52-38.
Mejit’s Justina Boaz, who led her team with 14 points, could only come up with one basket in the final period. Faith Lang added six points for Mejit. Zoya Langbit led Majuro with 12, followed by Lulani Ritok with 10 and Momo Nimoto with eight.
The final game pitted Arno against Likiep. If the close men’s Mejit-Rongelap encounter earlier in the evening was the basketball equivalent of a three-layer cake, then the Arno-Likiep game was the frosting from the Army bakery at Kwajalein — meaning “delicious” from the fans’ point of view.
While Likiep used six three-point shots to bolster its attack, Arno drove and used mostly an inside game. In the second quarter, Rongelap broke open a four-point game to take a commanding 43-29 half-time lead. As the third quarter started, Rongelap piled on the points, eventually leading by 18 points. But Arno wasn’t about to give up. With Rickson Lakabung, Keven Address, and Joshua Collins leading the way, they closed the gap to three points before ending the third with Rongelap ahead 57-51, thanks to a last second three pointer by Likiep sharpshooter Victor Navarro.
The fourth quarter, the teams traded baskets and with under two minutes to play, Arno tied the game and briefly took the lead with Kevin and Bobson River making key baskets and free throws. Clutch shooting by Jomi Lawin, who scored seven of Likiep’s last nine points, and Carlo Jacklick iced the game for Likiep in the final seconds, 70-67.
The BOMI 12th Ralik Ratak Shootout Invitational Basketball Tournament continues in Majuro on Monday December 10, 2012. Following are Monday’s games:
5:00pm Women Likiep v Arno
6:30pm Women Jaluit v Lae
8:00pm Men Majuro v Namu
The full schedule is posted on the MIBF homepage.
Photo: Arno's Stacy Anmontha (white uniform) drives against Jaluit's Dolly Jude during the Arno-Jaluit women’s game on December 8, 2012.