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MARIANAS BEACH VOLLEYBALL CUP

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By Robert Balajadia

Tri Bourne, Yuto Watanabe,

Tri Bourne puts up a block against Yuto Watanabe in the men’s final. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

The 21st Marianas Cup Beach Volleyball Festival reached Guam for the first time in its lasting history, moving over from Saipan. The tournament took over the weekend while wrapping up its final matches on Sunday February 24.

The tournament featured professional players from the United Sates, Japan, and Canada.  Each professional was granted a chance to play whomever won them in a raffle, balancing out the skill levels for the tournament.

All teams on the final day played a single set to 21 with no cap.  The winners of the two divisions were given a $3000 cash prize with a guaranteed plane ticket to come back and defend their title in the next tournament.

Tri Bourne

Tri Bourne serves his deadly jump serve that earned him a few aces in the championship game. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

MEN’S FINALS

Local 40-year-old veteran Manny Guarin won the raffle rights to play along side University of Southern California Trojans (USC) volleyball superstar 23-year-old Tri Bourne, which proved to be the difference.  Guarin and Bourne had never played alongside each other before but they developed quick chemistry which helped them defeat Watanabe-Nakatani in the Finals.

Yuto Watanabe and Yoshinori Nakatani defeated the Bourne-Guarin tandem the first time they met in the tournament but double elimination format gave Bourne and Guarin a second chance after coming atop the losers bracket.  Bourne and Guarin forced the “if-game” after defeating Watanabe-Nakatani 21-12 and then stole the show running away to a 21-15 victory in the “if-game”cementing their place as winners of the first ever Marianas Cup held on Guam and the first Guamanian to win the tournament in a five-year span.

Bourne on Guarin – “It was great playing with Manny.  He’s got the knowledge which goes a really long way, especially in a tournament like this where there are a lot of young guys.  I got the guy with a lot of experience which really paid off.  We both knew we had to play well to win and we used every up coming game as practice for playing together,” stated an ecstatic Bourne who was thrilled at the chance to come back to Guam.

Guarin on Bourne – “Playing with [Tri] is awesome.  I’m age 40 and not sure if I could ever play competitive volleyball but when you have Tri as a partner, he makes anything happen.  The discussions between each other to figure out what things we were doing right and wrong were key,” stated Guaren.

Angela Ishida uses her height to advantage to block her smaller-statured opponents. (photo by Regina Shiroma)

Angela Ishida uses her height to advantage to block her smaller-statured opponents. (photo by Regina Shiroma)

WOMENS FINALS

Miyuki and Miki were championship teammates for the past two Marianas Cup tournaments but the all-star duo found each other on opposite sides of the sand this time around with Miki and new teammate Angela going undefeated in the women’s bracket to win 21-18.

Miki and Angela were up 10-6 on their way to a cruising victory when Miyuki went to work, knotting the score at 10 all bringing it the closest it was all match.  Miki and Angela continued to attack Miyuki, wearing out the co-defending champion en route to a championship win.

 

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

http://www.akguam.com/ou/tamuning-scion/

Jimmy Boonprakong, Daisuke Matsumoto

Jimmy Boonprakong places a kill past the block of Daisuke Matsumoto. (photo by Regina Shiroma)

Ronnie Villanueva, Will Montgomery

Will Montgomery breaks through the block of Ronnie Villanueva. (photo by Regina Shiroma)

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