Lae Men, Majuro Women are BOMI Ralik Ratak Champs for 2012
Team Lae men and Team Majuro women won this year's BOMI 12th Ralik Ratak Shootout Invitational Basketball Tournament in Majuro Saturday night before a big crowd at the College of the Marshall Islands court. Team Rongelap men knocked off Maloelap to win third place.
Team Lae's full court pressure and consistent shooting proved to be a winning combination as it downed Team Namu in the finals, 76-52. Lae's full court press forced numerous turnovers in the early going that produced easy layup points for Lae. As the first half closed, Lae held a comfortable 41-26 lead. Lae also disrupted Namu's offense by picking up several offensive charges, mostly in the first half. In the third quarter, Namu managed to cut the lead to 10, but could not get any closer as Lae shooters scored at will on drives and pull up jumpers.
Final score: 76-52. Leading scorers for Lae: Nao Shoniber 22, Lajji Maddison 20. Leading scorers for Namu: Erick Kumtak 11, Baybat Latrik 8.
Immediately following this game, Bank of Marshall Islands official Arlington Tibon presented the second place trophy and $700 cash prize to Team Namu. He then presented the championship trophy and $1,000 cash prize to Team Lae.
Selected as Most Valuable Player of the tournament was Lae's Lajji Maddison and Coach of the Tournament honors went to Lae Coach Jerry Aneo.
In the women's championship, it looked like Majuro would run away to a blow out win after it ended the first quarter up 14-4 over Arno. Arno was playing without its leading scorer, Neri Wase, who left earlier in the week on a trip to the US. But a combination of Arno's stepped up defense and Majuro's shooters going stone cold in the second quarter resulted in Majuro being outscored 10-2 by Arno. Arno's Tonet Langmos picked up numerous steals on stellar defensive work, setting up baskets for herself and her teammates. Majuro got fired up in the second half, with Momo Nimoto and Zoya Langbit leading the attack. By the end of the third, it was Majuro 36-Arno 20. Arno again mounted a strong comeback, outscoring Majuro 15-7 in the final period, but it wasn't enough to overcome Majuro's lead. Final score: Majuro 43-Arno 35.
Leading scorers for Majuro: Momo Nimoto 17, Zoya Langbit 10 and Maureen Tani 8. Leading scorers for Arno: Tonet Langmos 15 and Maya Sam 10.
Following this game Bank of Marshall Islands official Arlington Tibon presented the trophy and $500 cash prize to second place Arno. He then presented the championship trophy and $700 cash prize to this year's BOMI 12th Ralik Ratak Shootout Tournament champion Team Majuro.
Selected as Most Valuable Player of the women's tournament was Majuro's Zoya Langbit. Coach of the Tournament honors went to Majuro Coaches Herman Jun Shoniber and Melvin Majmeto.
During the half time of each of the championship games, MIBF ran a three-point shooting contest that was sponsored by Medi-Source Pacific. In the women's game, three women took the challenge and it was Yolani Matthew who won the three-point contest and pocketed $200 for her efforts. During the men's game, six men tried their luck on three pointers. Each shot about six shots, and none could make it until the last round and the very last shot by Melvin Silk stuck a $200 payday with a three pointer from the top of the key. Medi-Source Pacific's Sandy Alfred was on hand to make the presentations to the winners.
In the first game of the day, for third spot in the men's bracket. Rongelap played Maloelap. Good shooting and teamwork on both sides made for an exciting game. Maloelap pushed out to a first quarter lead, 26-20. But Rongelap held Maloelap to only 10 points in the second quarter to take a halftime lead of 42-36 behind the shooting of Dexter Jikit and Raul Quinit. But Maloelap came right back and Rongelap saw its halftime lead erased within two minutes as Maloelap took the lead as point guard Lani Ackley led an effective Maloelap attack. At the end of the third, the score was 52-all. Rongelap's shooting in the fourth led them to victory as Raul and Wayne Anjain made key baskets to give the Rongelap team a final score of 70-60.
Leading scorers for Rongelap: Raul Quint 19, Dar Labin 11, Dexter Jikit and Wayne Anjain 10. Leading scorers for Maloelap: Lani Ackley 14, Lani Lani 10, and Spanky Pinho 8.
Bank of Marshall Islands official Arlington Tibon presented the third place trophy and $500 cash prize to Team Rongelap after the game.
Photo: Team Majuro receives its trophy and cash prize from BOMI official Arlington Tibon (far left).