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GUAM BASEBALL READY TO TAKE BACK GOLD

Guam is coming off two consecutive losses in Micro Games baseball and the men of 2014, behind the head coaching of Shon Muna, are determined to right the ship and get Guam back to their winning ways in the sport.

By Robert Balajadia

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While defending gold seems to be the theme for Guam when it comes to the 2014 Micro Games one team is just looking to get it back. Guam is coming off two consecutive losses in baseball and the men of 2014, behind the head coaching of Shon Muna, are determined to right the ship and get Guam back to their winning ways in the sport.

“I’m just here to change to look of the Island’s team,” stated Muna on taking the role as head coach and manager for the first time in the Micro Games.

A normal practice for the team can go on three-four hours so the most important thing for Guam just a week away from the games is to stay healthy.

“Proper stretching and hydrating will be the biggest key to staying healthy,” stated Muna. “Playing the games in the day time other than how we play every evening here on Guam will make a difference, but the key is to stay hydrated and get good rest before hand.”

The 2014 Micro Games Baseball Team. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

The 2014 Micro Games Baseball Team. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

All of Guam’s baseball games during the BBL season were played at night so playing early in the morning or midway through the afternoon may turn out to be a big issue, but the team is preparing for just that having practices run during the allotted game times with a greater emphasis on conditioning.

IMG_5015“I’m confident in this squad. The main thing we need to focus on is conditioning and staying healthy and to be ready mentally. We’re going to be playing out there in the heat and our conditioning is going to carry us throughout the tournament,” said slugger Jared Palomo.

 

The team has a good mix of veterans and youth, but the real strength behind it all is the chemistry and bond the guys have developed which can only translate into good things for Guam baseball.

“Half the team are veterans and we have a close knit group who have been playing ball together for over 10 years already and we’re excited and ready to work hard!” – Jared Palomo

2014 Micro Games Baseball Team

Jared Palomo
BJ Balajadia
Rico Castro
Matt Muna
Jim Reyes
Jathan Muna-Barnes
Pollycard Luther
TJ Sarmiento
Mike Bautista
Randy Alcantara
Roke Alcantara
John Pangelinan
John Salas
Ryan Martinez
Kin Fernandez Sr.
Shon Muna Jr.
Eric Cepeda
Lance Santos
Sean Cruz
Manny Palacios – Asst. Manager

Shon Muna Sr. – Manager

Another aspect of the game that cannot be overlooked is whether to team is ready to mentally shake off their two year drought and get back to gold level baseball.

IMG_5016“It really comes down to the mental game with these guys. It’s a team sport so everyone should be on the same page. As long as we’re all out there trying to get gold, the result doesn’t matter as long as we all play the way we are supposed to,” said John Salas.

Training for the games has been an issue within itself as the team has not been able to get as much field time as they would have liked to. The BBL season ended early July so the team has been rallying together to practice while still battling mother nature.

“It’s tough because baseball is a sport where you have to have good weather. We’ve been getting a lot time in through our batting cages at Jathan [Muna-Barnes] house, which has helped out a lot, and we just had to hit the gym if we can’t hit the field.”

As for the level of competition in the Mirco Games, the veteran Salas is expecting teams to have improved their level of play and the teams resounding confidence only implies they have improved as well.

“Everybody should get better every season that comes around and hopefully it works out like that,” ended Salas.

PHOTO GALLERY:

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The Team corrals after warmups before getting into drills. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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BJ Balajadia leads the team in warmups. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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Catcher Mike Bautista directing the pitcher where to place the ball. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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Pitchers warm up in the bullpen. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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Short stop Jathan Muna-Barnes throws to third base. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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Head coach Shon Muna Sr. gives the outfielders instructions before the drills. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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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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