BOMI Ralik Ratak Shootout Men's Playoffs Results
Close games highlighted the men's BOMI 12th Ralik Ratak Shootout Basketball Tournament opening round playoff games Thursday night in Majuro. Pool A winner Lae survived a scare from Mejit, Namu held on to defeat Wotje, Maloelap lost an 18 point lead, but managed to beat Likiep by three, and Rongelap-Arno went to final seconds before Rongelap emerged victorious.
In the first game, Mejit jumped out to an early lead as Lae struggled to find the basket. But Lae's full court pressure helped even things by halftime. From there, the teams traded baskets, with Mejit and the crowd thinking upset. Both teams missed dozens of free throws. In the fourth, Lae pulled out in front by 10, only to see Mejit mount a furious comeback with Casey Andy hitting three clutch three pointers in the final minutes. Lae was up by three when Mokku Lamille was fouled. He missed the first, but made the second, putting Lae up 58-54. Bolet Paul made a final three-pointer at the buzzer, but Mejit fell short, 58-57.
Lae leading scorers: Lajji Maddsion 16, Taule Loeak 10, and Mokku Lamille. For Mejit: Junior Anuntak 16 and Casey Andy 13.
Proving that the Lae-Mejit game was no fluke, Wotje battled Pool B winner Namu, staying within five-to-eight points of Namu. Turnovers and poor passing hurt Wotje's effort to upset Namu, which held on to win 65-58.
Leading scorers for Namu: Baybat Latrik, Aichy Abner 10, and Lainol Jamer 8. For Wotje: Tojang 13, Rudy 12.
In the Likiep-Maloelap game, Maloelap built a 17-11 first quarter lead, and then kept adding to it. By early in the third period, it was up by 18 points over Likiep. But the Likiep boys kept pecking away at Maloelap's lead. With minutes to go in the fourth, Likiep tied and then took the lead briefly. The two teams exchange baskets into the final minute of play. With only seconds left Maloelap's Spanky Pinho scored and then was fouled, coverting one free throw to give Maloelap a 62-59 win.
Leading socrers for Maloelap: Spanky Pinho 14, Kon Clarence 10. For Likeip: Dan Jokna 21, Victor Navarro 17.
The final game of the night between Rongelap and Arno was a physical game, as neither team could find the basket in the first quarter, with Rongelap managing a 9-7 lead. But halftime, Rongelap opened up a 26-16 lead. But in the third quarter, turnovers allowed Arno to get back in the game. As the game wound down in the final three minutes, the two teams exchanged the lead basket for basket. Good shooting by Rongelap's Dar Labin and Wayne Anjain in the final minute secured the win for Rongelap 62-58.
Leading scorers for Rongelap: Dar Labin 17, Raul Quint. For Arno, Kevin Address 20 and Bobson River 14.
This preliminary playoff series for the men was an elimination round, so all of the losing teams are eliminated. The four winners move on to play in the semifinals Friday to see who will go to this year's championship game on Saturday night.
Friday's playoff games:
5:00pm Men Lae v Rongelap
6:30 Women's third place game Lae v Mejit
8:00pm Men Namu v Maloelap
Photo: Rebound action in the Rongelap-Arno game December 20, 2012.