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BLAS SPARKS GUAM PAST CHUUK

The indoor sports survived schedule changes on Saturday with field sports taking a big hit as Guam’s men’s basketball team grabbed their first playoff win to advance to the semifinals, the men’s volleyball team beat a tough Chuuk team, and the makeup day for all the games will be played out Sunday with the volleyball semifinals being moved up to avoid a one-day medal rounding.

By Robert Balajadia

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POHNPEI – The indoor sports survived schedule changes on Saturday with field sports taking a big hit as Guam’s men’s basketball team grabbed their first playoff win to advance to the semifinals, the men’s volleyball team beat a tough Chuuk team, and the makeup day for all the games will be played out Sunday with the volleyball semifinals being moved up to avoid a one-day medal rounding.

Guam Wins Big In First Playoff Game Against Chuuk

It took Guam a quarter and a half to settle into the game against Chuuk with the game tied at 23 early in the second quarter after Chuuks point guard Action Aiashy hit a deep three pointer, but Guam then closed the quarter on a 23-2 run led by Joe Blas to drop Chuuk in the first playoff game 83-51.

Guam’s Dom Sablan made a no look pass to big man Seve Susuico to break the 23-all tie then Guam’s defensive forced Chuuk into four straight bad shots which led to easy points for Guam before Blas took over.

Blas hit a jump shot in the corner to give Guam a 30-23 lead and then added a three pointer from the wing and a layup plus the foul plays later to give Guam a 40-23 lead. Blas finished with a game high 24 points and continues to do well for Guam in the Mirco Games.

Guam's men's team are just two wins away from gold! (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam’s men’s team are just two wins away from gold! (photo by Joey Blas)

James Stake got cheers from the crowd in the 3rd quarter scoring 11 straight points for Guam which included three-straight three pointers to go up 68-29 late in the quarter. Susuico also got the crowd going off two big blocks which aided in the transition three pointers for Stake, who finished with 15 points.

Playing for Chuuk was former Okkodo basketball and volleyball star Maks Kepwe, but foul trouble denied Kepwe from making too much of an impact. Edy Nifon led Chuuk in scoring with 15 points while Kepwe was held to just nine points.

Guam now moves into the second round of the playoffs which is scheduled to take place Monday with their opponent still yet to be decided.

Guam's Joe Blas was the player of the game leading Guam with 24 points.

Guam’s Joe Blas was the player of the game leading Guam with 24 points.

Chuuk Gives Guam A Battle

The Men’s volleyball defeated Chuuk in three sets 25-19, 25-23,25-20 but they were challenged every set with majority of the crowd cheering on Chuuk.

After losing the first set, Chuuk came out strong grabbing a quick 4-1lead. Guam’s Derrick Wahl then took over grabbing two of three kills to give Guam back the lead 6-5. Anthony Crisostomo then unloaded a vicious shot with bad intentions right down the center of Chuuk’s blockers getting an 8-7 lead.

Wahl was then set up by teammate Robert Borden twice in a row which resulted in back-to-back kills for a 14-11 lead.

Chuuk scored two points off Guam kill attempts that went out of bounds tying the game at 14. Wahl then smashed home another kill to go up 16-14 preceded by Chuuk service error.

Anthony Crisostomo gets pumped after a massive kill. ( photo by Joey Blas)

Anthony Crisostomo gets pumped after a massive kill. ( photo by Joey Blas)

Guam had trouble midway through finding their place on kill attempts as Chuuk took an 18-17 lead. Crisostomo came storming through a play later to tie the game with another dead shot.

Wahl got kills on the 23rd and 25th point to close out the set denying Chuuk from taking one.

In-between action, The voice of Guam and women’s volleyball Joneen Terlaje was challenged by a fan from Chuuk in a center court dance off with Terlaje carrying the Guam flag on her back. Even in a short dance-off Guam was determined to win with Terlaje stealing the show late doing her best impression of Miley Cyrus.

Kylon Eckert digs deep to save a ball. (photo by Joey Blas)

Kylon Eckert digs deep to save a ball. (photo by Joey Blas)

Chuuk kept the score close through the first 15 points but subs Kevin Perez and Allander Ebeo made an immediate impact getting Guam points off blocks and serves. Guam’s Alaska boys Crisostomo and Perez went up and shared a block to put Guam up 20-17 as the two briefly celebrated.

Team captain PJ Quintanilla was all over the first set and added finishing touches in the final points getting back-to-back serve aces followed by a kill from Perez to go up 24-19 eventually closing out the game.

Guahan Soldier player of the game Derrick Wahl. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guahan Soldier player of the game Derrick Wahl. (photo by Joey Blas)

Sunday Schedule

What was supposed to be a day off for most teams has instead turned into an action packed event for all the members of team Guam.

8 am – Guam Women’s volleyball vs. Pohnpei (semifinals)

8 am – Guam Tennis medal rounds

9 am – Women’s fast pitch softball (make-up game)

9 am – Table Tennis

11 am – Men’s fast pitch softball (make-up game)

1 pm – Men’s baseball vs. Kosrae (winner advances to gold medal match)

8 pm – Men’s volleyball (semifinals)

8 pm – Women’s basketball vs. Pohnpei (end of pool play)

 

PHOTO GALLERY:

Guam's Lance Osborn gets into the action against Chuuk in the 4th quarter. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam’s Lance Osborn gets into the action against Chuuk in the 4th quarter. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam's James Stake gets a reverse layup to go against Chuuk. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam’s James Stake gets a reverse layup to go against Chuuk. (photo by Joey Blas)

Table Tennis' Arman Burgos gets a win late in the evening. (photo by Joey Blas)

Table Tennis’ Arman Burgos gets a win late in the evening. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam's Frank Candaso had a tough opponent in his evening matches. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam’s Frank Candaso had a tough opponent in his evening matches. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam's TJ Balajadia sends a shot down the side of the court for a point. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam’s TJ Balajadia sends a shot down the side of the court for a point. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam's Robert Borden and Anthony Crisostomo get up and stuff a kill attempt from Chuuk. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam’s Robert Borden and Anthony Crisostomo get up and stuff a kill attempt from Chuuk. (photo by Joey Blas)

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Since forming the GNYFF in 2009, the league has never gone without a season until 2020. The league announced their plans to cancel the 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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QUICK HITS

RIP: Former Guam football player Phil Mendiola, shown here with son Tano, passed away in Las Vegas due to a heart attack. Mendiola played for numerous Guam teams from youth to varsity. He was 39.
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Morgan McKenna (left with black face mask) poses for a photo with Guam Football Association Technical Director Sang Hoon Kim (seated, with blue face mask) and Guam Football Association Assistant Technical Director Ross Awa (standing) after signing his letter of commitment to play intercollegiate men’s soccer for Muskingum University in Ohio. The Fighting Muskies compete in NCAA Division III’s Ohio Athletic Conference.

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