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CRAMER YOUNGEST TO WIN MARIANAS CUP

Guam’s Misaki Cramer and returning pro volleyball player Paul Baxter took Saipan by storm by winning the 2014 Marianas Beach Volleyball Cup over the weekend at the Fiesta Resort & Spa sand courts.

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By Robert Balajadia

Guam’s Misaki Cramer and returning pro volleyball player Paul Baxter took Saipan by storm by winning the 2014 Marianas Beach Volleyball Cup over the weekend at the Fiesta Resort & Spa sand courts.

Cramer becomes the youngest participant to ever win the Marianas Cup Event at 16 years of age and was greeted by a familiar crowd.

“I was just thankful for having everyone there being so supportive. This was the highest level of competition I’ve ever competed in. Playing in Saipan made it way more fun knowing that the crowd was supporting me and I knew they had my back throughout the whole tournament. I had all my uncles all helping me out as I go,” said the Saipan native.

The tag team duo of Baxter and Cramer defeated the two-time champion Manny Guarin and championship match newcomer Hitoshi Murakami 21-15 in the finals.

“[Baxter] has come out to Saipan for various Mariana Cup tournaments and he’s good friends with my dad. We kept our team a surprise until the tournament. I’ve definitely learned a lot from [Baxter] like strategy and overall technique, and serving,” said Cramer on how the tag-team first came together.

Defense proved to be the difference in the game as Cramer used his quickness and hustle to get to loose balls while the height and leaping ability of Baxter created a bunch of problems for the Guarin/Murakami tag team.

“[Guarin] was a tough opponent and it was a great finals. This tournament really made me work and I wanted to perform at my best,” stated Cramer.

Serving also provided troubles for the Guarin/Murakami team down the stretch.

Guarin teamed up with NCAA standout Tri Bourne in the championship on Guam last year where the duo took the title at The Beach Bar & Grill sand courts.

PHOTO GALLERY:

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The tag-team duo of Masaki Cramer (left) and Paul Baxter (right). (courtesy photo)

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Cramer putting a spin on his serve. (courtesy photo)

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The tag-team duo of Masaki Cramer (left) and Paul Baxter (right). (courtesy photo)

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The tag-team duo of Masaki Cramer (left) and Paul Baxter (right). (courtesy photo)

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The tag-team duo of Masaki Cramer (left) and Paul Baxter (right). (courtesy photo)

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Sports legend Joe Taitano used to run to school at JFK from his Yigo home and back. He continued this routine up to 1979 when he’d run from home to GW gym and back to practice for the South Pacific Games with the national basketball team. Guam went on to win its second straight SPG gold medal.

 

 

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