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MASTERS SOFTBALL GARNERS WORLD BRONZE

Two Guam masters softball squads represented their Pacific Island nation commendably, ending in third and eighth place overall in the LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championship 2015, Men’s 40-plus Masters AAA Division here recently.

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By Eddie Siguenza

LAS VEGAS, Nev. —Two Guam masters softball squads represented their Pacific Island nation commendably, ending in third and eighth place overall in the LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championship 2015, Men’s 40-plus Masters AAA Division here recently.

Sponsored by the Las Vegas Senior Softball Association and United States Senior softball, the prestigious tournament featured competitive squads throughout the U.S. as well as abroad. The Guam teams competed in a 24-team field to rank in the Top 10.

Bud Light Guam, consisting of former Guam (Budweiser) Major League standouts and other seasoned softball veterans, earned third place honors by winning six of its final seven games in the three-day tourney. Bud Light Guam lost 14-11 to Defend Pono, a Maui, Hawaii squad that won the overall title and finished runner-up last year, in the medal round. A Guam victory would have advanced it to the championship game against R&R Pumping Unit from Southern California.

Guam’s Bud Light masters softball team head coach Jim Pangelinan accepts the third place award earned in the LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championship 2015, Men's 40-plus Masters AAA Division, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 25. Presenting the award is Doug Robbins, tournament director. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Guam’s Bud Light masters softball team head coach Jim Pangelinan accepts the third place award earned in the LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championship 2015, Men’s 40-plus Masters AAA Division, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 25. Presenting the award is Doug Robbins, tournament director. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

“The guys gave everything they got. We’re sad we lost, but we’re satisfied with how we played. We never got this far,” Bud Light Guam coach Jim Pangelinan said. “We came out here with a mission. We wanted to win the ring.”

Tournament director Dough Robbins presented the Guam contingent with a third place plaque and medals, commending them for an exceptional tournament. He highly commended the support both Guam teams received from friends, families and newcomers who numbered in the hundreds each game, and were the “most intense crowd” among all participants in any division.

“People at other fields kept asking what’s going on over there,” said Robbins, pointing to the Guam game. “They were thinking it’s a championship game. I said “No, it’s just Guam and its hundreds of supporters.” It’s like that every game they play.”

The loss to Defend Pono was Bud Light Guam’s fourth Oct. 25 contest. Earlier, it defeated Team Whatever (Yuma, Arizona) 27-17; stopped Hammertime (Arizona) 17-13; and eliminated Hawaiian 40s 23-18. The latter victory assured Guam of its highest placing since playing in the World Masters Tournament four consecutive years.

“We just keep getting better and better. We’re almost there,” Pangelinan added.

Sindalu Guahan — consisting of Guam Army reservists and National Guardsmen — fought tough but got eliminated by a Hawaii squad 22-20 in its final Oct. 24 game. Sindalu Guahan scored 10 runs in its last at-bat and had the winning run at the plate before getting stopped.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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Manny Babauta, a retired Guam Police officer and member of Guam’s Sindalu Guahan, delivers a pitch. (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Manny Babauta, a retired Guam Police officer and member of Guam’s Sindalu Guahan, delivers a pitch. (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Edward Gumataotao of Guam’s Sindalu Guahan beats the throw to first base Oct. 24. (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Edward Gumataotao of Guam’s Sindalu Guahan beats the throw to first base Oct. 24. (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s Tim Aguon speeds around second base against Hawaiian 40s. (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s Tim Aguon speeds around second base against Hawaiian 40s. (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s Jarvis Quenga, Jim Reyes and others enjoy the competitiveness. (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s Jarvis Quenga, Jim Reyes and others enjoy the competitiveness. (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam players right before a medal game of the LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championship 2015, Men's 40-plus Masters AAA Division, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Shown: Robert Meno, Charlie Cabarles, Glen Nelson and Herbie Hattig.  (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam players right before a medal game of the LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championship 2015, Men’s 40-plus Masters AAA Division, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Shown: Robert Meno, Charlie Cabarles, Glen Nelson and Herbie Hattig. (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s Jim Reyes connects on one of his team-high eight home runs in the three-day tournament. (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s Jim Reyes connects on one of his team-high eight home runs in the three-day tournament. (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Guam teams finished third, eighth in Masters World Softball Tournament

Guam teams finished third, eighth in Masters World Softball Tournament

Bud Light Guam’s Keith Hattig and Russell Maratita celebrate the final out of Guam’s 23-18 victory over Hawaiian 40s. (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s Keith Hattig and Russell Maratita celebrate the final out of Guam’s 23-18 victory over Hawaiian 40s. (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam outfielder Lawrence Idelbong snares a pop fly against Defend Pono (Maui, Hawaii). (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam outfielder Lawrence Idelbong snares a pop fly against Defend Pono (Maui, Hawaii). (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s Russell Maratita recovers from a slip and throws on his knees. (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s Russell Maratita recovers from a slip and throws on his knees. (photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s masters softball team acknowledges families, friends and supporters Oct. 25 after finishing third overall in the LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championship 2015, Men's 40-plus Masters AAA Division, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Every game, the team was followed by highly vocal supporters — more than any other team in the tournament, according to Doug Robbins, tournament director (left), who received compliments every day about Guam fans. “People at other fields kept asking what’s going on over there,” said Robbins, pointing to the Guam game. “They were thinking it’s a championship game. I said “No, it’s just Guam and its hundreds of supporters.” It’s like that every game they play.” (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s masters softball team acknowledges families, friends and supporters Oct. 25 after finishing third overall in the LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championship 2015, Men’s 40-plus Masters AAA Division, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Every game, the team was followed by highly vocal supporters — more than any other team in the tournament, according to Doug Robbins, tournament director (left), who received compliments every day about Guam fans. “People at other fields kept asking what’s going on over there,” said Robbins, pointing to the Guam game. “They were thinking it’s a championship game. I said “No, it’s just Guam and its hundreds of supporters.” It’s like that every game they play.” (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Guam’s Keith Hattig rounds second base Oct. 25 in an elimination game against Hawaiian 40s in the LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championship 2015, Men's 40-plus Masters AAA Division, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Guam won the pivotal game 23-18, advancing to the medal round. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Guam’s Keith Hattig rounds second base Oct. 25 in an elimination game against Hawaiian 40s in the LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championship 2015, Men’s 40-plus Masters AAA Division, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Guam won the pivotal game 23-18, advancing to the medal round. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

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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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