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HIGH SCHOOLER’S BATTLE IN HONG KONG

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PRESS RELEASE – Guam’s High School (Under 18) rugby sevens team competed in the 1st Asian Secondary Schools Rugby Sevens Championships in Hong Kong on Sunday.

The tournament featured eight teams and Guam had the misfortune to be drawn in the “Pool of Death” with eventual winners Hong Kong and third place getters Malaysia. However, Guam’s first game was against China.

Guam surprised the local crowd and organizers with a 21 – 17 win against China. China scored first, but strong running from Frank Troy II and Art Toves saw Guam crack the Chinese defense and get a try to Storm Rosario which Toves converted. Guam went into the half ahead 7-5.

China started the second half with another try but a great individual effort from Art Toves saw Guam gain 60 meters. From the next ruck, Jacob Bamba received the ball and forced his way over the line for a try, which Wintterlee converted. Guam went up 14-10.

Another converted try to Chris Wintterle saw Guam ahead 21-10. China attacked in overtime and scored a consolation try but Guam had taken the match 21-17.

Guam second match was against Malaysia who had earlier been beaten comprehensively by Hong Kong. Unfortunately, Guam was not able to match their commitment and effort from the China match while Malaysia, still smarting from their Hong Kong result, returned to form. The final result was a disappointing 39-0.

Guam then faced the favorites, Hong Kong. Strong tackling and defence were not a match for the skill and speed of Hong Kong. The final result of 53-0 was a reflection of their dominance.

In the first playoff game, Guam faced the Cambodian team. Cambodia surprised Guam and raced to a 12-0 lead. Guam responded and a strong run from Jacob Bamba set hris Wintterle up for a try. However Guam were never able to settle and let Cambodia in for a third try and a win 17-5.

Guam faced China again in the Shield final and once again was not able to repeat their earlier form. Guam took an early lead with tries to Gabe Paulino and Art Toves but China came back strongly and scored three tries to ultimately take the Shield 17-10.

Coaches Ryan Calros and Conrad Kerber were disappointed that the team was unable to repeat the form they displayed in beating China in the first match but were pleased that the boys continued to press in all five games they played in the tournament.

The Guam team was Brandon Cruz (Guam High), Jose Abrecea (Guam High), Chris Wintterle (Father Duenas), Gabe Paulino (Guam High), Zavier Damian (Father Duenas), Storm Rosario (George Washington), Art Toves – Captain (Southern Christian), Frank Troy – Vice Captain (George Washington), Kelvin Hocog (George Washington), Jacob Bamba (George Washington) and Devin Blas (George Washington).

The team would like to thank Commercial Tire Depot, dck World Wide, the Tan Siu Lin Foundation, Smithbrfdge Guam and the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union for their assistance in making this trip possible.

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QUICK HITS

Shawn Bamba won the Arizona state wrestling championship while siblings Jussiah and Justyn took third place in their divisions at state.
Shawn (12th) won the 150-lb division while Jussiah (11th) took bronze in the 120-lb class and Justyn (9th) took bronze in the 106-lb category.
All three were born on Guam before moving to Surprise, Arizona in 2014, where they all picked up wrestling in 2016.
Their parents are Justin and Shannon Bamba from Pago Bay.
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Christian Delos Santos, son of Richard Delos Santos (Barrigada) and Norma Larimer Delos Santos (Dededo), won the Kentucky High School Athletic Association wrestling state championship in the 113-lb weight class.
His sister Naiya took 3rd place in the 100-lb girls division.

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