KFC Bombers secure Triton Men's Basketball League championship
The KFC Bombers won the title during the Spring 2023 Triton Men’s Basketball League Championship hosted by the University of Guam Triton Athletics Department Monday, May 8, 2023.
KFC Bombers upset the MVP Stars 92-90.
Team OG finished in third place by beating the UOG Tritons 122-114 in overtime.
In the championship game, the Bombers held a tight lead over the Stars 22-21 by the end of the first quarter. The Stars struggled with success behind the arch and honed their energy under the basket.
By the second half, the Stars took the lead 41-38. A combined 13 points from Darren Hechanova and JP Cruz resulted in the Stars outscoring the Bombers 20-16 in the second quarter.
In the second half, a hot start by the Stars gave them a 10 point lead within the first three minutes of the half.
The Bombers' Chris Conner and Jaden Finley built momentum, scoring 16 of the Bombers’ 27 points in the third quarter to even the scoreboard at 65.
Both teams kept the game close in the final period. JP Cruz, heavily guarded by the Bombers, found his shot with short-range jumpers and quick 3-pointers. He scored 14 points in the 4th quarter.
Bombers’ Garrington Simpson used his speed to outrun the Stars defense and maneuvered his way toward 12 points for the quarter.
The Bombers took a 92-87 lead with 30 seconds left in the game. Cruz managed to hit a 3-pointer with seconds to spare, but the Stars couldn't steal the win.
Simpson and Finley both led the Bombers with 25 points apiece. Cruz finished the game with 30 points, and Vince Estella added 19 points for the Stars.
The UOG Tritons and Team OG matchup was neck and neck. The Tritons had a four-point lead with three minutes left in the first quarter, but a solid run by Team OG late in the period gave them a 23-21 lead at the end of 10 minutes.
Team OG led by 9 halfway through the second quarter, outscoring the Tritons 27 to 21 points, and securing a 50-42 lead at the end of the first half. Cisco Uncangco scored four of his seven 3-pointers in the first half to help the Tritons remain competitive in the game.
The UOG Tritons regained the lead 55-54 halfway through the third quarter. Both teams bounced back and forth by regaining and chasing the lead. Despite the Tritons outscoring Team OG 30-24 and Manny Soriano’s 12-point performance, the Tritons trailed by 2 points at the end of the third quarter.
The game remained close in the fourth quarter, and with under 2-minutes left, the score was tied 95 apiece. The Tritons' Amram Yobei took the game into his hands with two acrobatic shots to give the Tritons the lead 101-98. But Team OG's Eric Reyes hit a 3-point buzzer-beater to send the game into overtime.
Team OG, with only 7 available players that night, outlasted the Tritons, scoring 21 points in overtime to win the game, 122-114.
Reyes led Team OG with 32 points. Tristan Valdez, Vince Espinal, and Chris Change scored 21, 20, and 18 points, respectively. UOG’s Yobei scored 30 points and Manny Soriano finished with 28 points.
MVP – Garrington Simpson (KFC Bombers)
Photos courtesy University of Guam Triton Men’s Basketball League.