Connect with us

GSPN

USITA-LEE, OKUHAMA RETAIN 2017 ISLAND-WIDE TENNIS TITLES

The Island-Wide Tennis singles titles didn’t change hands in 2017 as both Derek Okuhama and Tara Usita-Lee retained their tourney championships Thursday afternoon at the Ninete Tennis Court.

Okuhama brings his best in finals repeat win

By Jay Leon Guerrero

St. John’s Tennis standout Derek Okuhama faced a lot of adversity this season but stepped up when it mattered most. He entered the IIAAG Singles Tournament as a fourth seed and eliminated the first and second seed players to repeat as the All-Island champion.

St. John’s Knight Derek Okuhama

Okuhama defeated league MVP Camden Camacho from FD in the semi-finals and then defeated second seed Sidney Gadsden from Guam High in the finals to repeat as champion. Okuhama defeated Gadsden 8-3 in the finals at the Hagatna Tennis Courts.

“I tried to forget about all of the standings. I just try to play as hard as I can and forget all of the seeds,” said Okuhama. Okuhama faced Gadsden last year and won 8-6 in a competitive match.

This year, the two slugged it out to open up the match with Gadsden taking the opening set. It was back and forth in the beginning with Okuhama clinging to a 4-3.

“We had a lot of long rallies, just like my match yesterday (against Camacho). I knew if I won those long rallies it would give me a mental edge,” said Okuhama.

The two battled it out but it was Okuhama’s day, winning the close sets to repeat as champion.

“Sidney had a great tournament, he deserved to be in the final match”, said Okuhama. Gadsden won a thriller the day before, an 8-7 comeback victory against third seed Mason Caldwell from Harvest. “He plays well in the All-Island tournament, it was a great comeback battle yesterday against Mason. Hes a fighter and it was an honor to play against him today,” said Okuhama.

This is his second consecutive title and he hopes the high level competition will continue year. “This will definitely motivate all the players”. He hopes someone from St John’s will continue the winning streak to keep the title in his school.

“I’m hoping someone from St John’s can come back and represent our school well next year,” said Okuhama. His teammates will have to contend against FD’s Camacho who will be and senior and Caldwell from Harvest who will be a junior next year.

Both Okuhama and Gadsden are seniors and they both look to continue to play tennis in college. “It’s still in the works, I’m looking to play for a college in the west coast.”

Usita-Lee serves up second-straight IIAAG Singles Title

By Robert Balajadia

Cougar Tara Usita-Lee

Cougar junior Tara Usita-Lee has retained her status as the Singles Tennis Champion, finishing an unbeaten season once again on top. Usita-Lee topped the #2 ranked Knight Anika Sachdev (8-4).

“I just needed to be one step ahead of her,” said Usita-Lee on the approach. “I had quite a few double faults and [Anika] was giving me a tough time on my serves.”

It was just the icing on the cake for Usita-Lee and the Cougars after also reeling in the team title a week ago.

“Winning as a team was great since we all worked really hard to get there. Even when coach said we didn’t have practice, our team came out anyways to get some court time in. We really wanted to win a championship,” added Usita-Lee.

Usita-Lee overcame every challenge the season presented her. She began her title defense after defeating Harvest Eagle in the quarterfinals (8-3) and then getting by Eagle Lily Xu (8-5) in the semifinals. And the competition is only getting tougher.

“We have more and more people joining tennis every year and they are competing and really trying to improve, which makes it a tough league. I put in a lot of work training, but the players in the league are putting a lot of training too,” said Usita-Lee on the state of the league.

Doubles Winners

The top seeded Cougars Mikhailla Alcantara and Joycelyn Tenai defeated the Sanchez Sharks duo of Crishka Caballero and Andrea Ibardalasa (8-3) to begin the Finals tourney in the Girls Doubles A Division.

In the Girls Doubles B Division, Okkodo Bulldogs Dominique Dela Cruz and Jayne Ortida defeated Eagles Luna Puangco and Rona Wang (8-4).

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Ad

GPS Sports Calendar

June

July 2020

August
SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
Events for July

1st

No Events
Events for July

2nd

No Events
Events for July

3rd

No Events
Events for July

4th

No Events
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Events for July

5th

No Events
Events for July

6th

No Events
Events for July

7th

No Events
Events for July

8th

No Events
Events for July

9th

No Events
Events for July

10th

No Events
Events for July

11th

No Events
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Events for July

12th

No Events
Events for July

13th

No Events
Events for July

14th

No Events
Events for July

15th

No Events
Events for July

16th

No Events
Events for July

17th

No Events
Events for July

18th

No Events
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Events for July

19th

No Events
Events for July

20th

No Events
Events for July

21st

No Events
Events for July

22nd

No Events
Events for July

23rd

No Events
Events for July

24th

No Events
Events for July

25th

No Events
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
Events for July

26th

No Events
Events for July

27th

No Events
Events for July

28th

No Events
Events for July

29th

No Events
Events for July

30th

No Events
Events for July

31st

No Events

Foody’s 5 Fun Facts

St. John’s Knight Aarman Sachdev

Polls

Would you like to see the first ever 2020 Fantasy Baseball Drafted teams compete against each other?

View Results

DID U KNOW?

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.

COMING SOON …

ALL SPORTING EVENTS HALTED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS ISSUE

QUICK HITS

Former Guam resident and UFC fighter Jon Delos Reyes received his jiu-jitsu black belt in Las Vegas from Professor Raul Jimenez. Congratulations JDR!

More in GSPN