The University of Guam Men's Basketball Team defeated the KFC Bombers 101-96 on Sunday afternoon in the UOG Calvo Field House to win the Triton Men's Basketball League Championship and go 20-0 for the Fanuchånan (Fall) semester.
“When you’re at the finish line, finish strong,” said UOG Men’s Basketball Head Coach Brent Tipton. “That was our motivation to the players.”
The game was hard fought for four quarters, as both teams played tough defense and leads went back and forth. At the end of the first quarter, the Bombers led 29-27. At the half, UOG was up 51-50.
“It’s tough playing a lot of the teams on island multiple times,” said graduate student Blake Jenkins. “It only gets tougher because they get familiar with how you play. But what separates our team from them is that we’re in much better shape, both mentally and physically.”
Jenkins led the Tritons with 31 points and 19 rebounds in the championship game.
The Tritons put their best run (16 points) on at the end of the third period to the start of the 4th quarter. As UOG went from being down 70-64 to take the lead 80-70, it looked like UOG was going to run away with it. But the Bombers proved too tough this time and came back to make it a 3 point game again going into the last few minutes of the fourth quarter.
“We really stuck together in that last game,” Tipton said. “We literally had every piece of the puzzle in every position this semester. All we had to do was put them together, work hard, and maintain our intensity.”
Geno Anderson hit some clutch 3-pointers and scored a total of 16 points. Billy Belger scored 25 points, and AJ Brown scored 18 points and had 9 rebounds and 10 assists.
With the semester coming to a close, Tipton said he and his coaching staff are already looking forward to a new season in the next few weeks—their goals being to maintain the success but more importantly, maintain the passion and hard work of this last season.
“Both coaches and players will continue to work hard to represent our University,” Tipton said. “We’d love to duplicate the success, but our main goal is to duplicate the work ethic. Our mindset is focused on growth—growing as a program, a team and individuals.”
The Tritons finished the season 12-0 in the TMBL and overall, had a 20-0 for the fall of 2017. The Bombers finished 8-5 in the league.