Connect with us

Basketball

GUAM MEN’S BASKETBALL IS HEADED TO THAILAND

The defending Pacific Games Gold Medallists will head to the FIBA World Cup Asia Basketball qualifier for 2019 this weekend. The tournament will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, and the top four of seven teams will advance to the qualifier next year.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

“By far, this is the biggest tournament we will ever go too,” said Guam National Basketball Team point guard Willie Stinnett.

The defending Pacific Games Gold Medallists will head to the FIBA World Cup Asia Basketball qualifier for 2019 this weekend. The tournament will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, and the top four of seven teams will advance to the qualifier next year.

A press conference was held at Applebee’s restaurant in Tamuning Wednesday afternoon with team coaches and players present to announce their participation in the tournament.

According to team manager Danny Payumo, updates will be sent immediately and games can be watched online via the FIBA YouTube channel or on Facebook live. Specific times will be announced later but the first game will be played next Monday.

Guam National Team head coach EJ Calvo said his team has been preparing for this tournament and will look to make the top four so they can move up and play the next tier of Asian teams which include Australia, China and the Philippines.

“The magnitude of this tournament is huge. If we can accomplish our goals, we will play teams next year like China and Australia. We will host them or we will play in their country. Imagine team Guam playing the Gilas (Team Philippines) at UOG,” said Calvo.

The roster includes the following players:

William Belger
Andrew Carlos
Christopher Conner
JP Cruz
Darren Hechanova
Earvin Jose
Earnest Ross
Willie Stinnett III
Curtis Washington
Mekeli Wesley
Russ Wesley
Tai Wesley
Jericho Cruz* (pending)
Michael Min* (alternate)

How did Guam qualify?

The top two teams in the Oceania region are invited to play in the FIBA World qualifier. By winning Gold in PNG at the Pacific Games in 2015, Guam earned their spot. Fiji, the silver medallists, will also play in the qualifier.

Guam is by far the smallest nation participating in the tournament. But the chances of team Guam advancing are promising thanks to the dedication of players living overseas with Guam roots.

“We will play Fiji on Monday, then Singpaore and our last pool game will be against host team Thailand,” said Calvo. “Its good we play Fiji first because we’ve played against them before,” said Stinnett.

Calvo said they have been studying footage when they played against Fiji and the matchup should be a good one with Fiji looking to avenge their loss in the gold medal game.

If Guam advances out of pool play, it will be mission accomplished. “Our plan is to try and win every game,” said Calvo.

“We’ve been known as a team heavy with guards in the past, but now we have size with Curtis and the Wesley brothers,” said Stinnett. Tai Wesley will be coming straight from Australia where he plays professional basketball, Russ and Mekeli Wesley will reunite with the younger Tai in Thailand.

Washington is on island and is practicing with the team. A former Guam High standout said he’s happy to be back on Guam. “We thank all of our supporters here on Guam, we will do our best and play for you,” said Washington. Washington plays professional basketball in Thailand and played in the same arena that will host the FIBA tournament.

Also arriving on Guam was former high school MVP and collegiate player Chris Conner. Conner will be reunited on the national team with former JFK high school teammate Billy Belger. “I’m excited to be on the same squad again with Billy. We don’t communicate as much cause we are both busy but being together on the same team will be something special,” said Conner.

Also travelling with the team are assistant coaches Jin Han and Seve Susuico. The medial staff includes Luis Cruz, John Fegurgur and Chris Fernandez. Also accompanying the team is GBC vice president Frank Cruz.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Ad

Athletes Birthdays by W5

GPS Sports Calendar

July

August 2021

September
SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Events for August

1st

Events for August

2nd

No Events
Events for August

3rd

Events for August

4th

No Events
Events for August

5th

Events for August

6th

Events for August

7th

8
9
10
11
12
13
14
Events for August

8th

Events for August

9th

No Events
Events for August

10th

Events for August

11th

No Events
Events for August

12th

Events for August

13th

No Events
Events for August

14th

15
16
17
18
19
20
21
Events for August

15th

No Events
Events for August

16th

No Events
Events for August

17th

No Events
Events for August

18th

No Events
Events for August

19th

No Events
Events for August

20th

No Events
Events for August

21st

No Events
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
Events for August

22nd

Events for August

23rd

No Events
Events for August

24th

No Events
Events for August

25th

No Events
Events for August

26th

No Events
Events for August

27th

No Events
Events for August

28th

29
30
31
1
2
3
4
Events for August

29th

Events for August

30th

No Events
Events for August

31st

No Events

Foody’s Fun Facts

Favorites From Year 2

Polls

Which omitted high school sport did you miss the most?

View Results

COMING SOON …

2020 Tokyo Olympics

 

UFC Fight

Aug 1: Trevin Jones vs. Tony Kelley

 

 

QUICK HITS

Nicole Cruz had a chance to take a photo with USA gymnast and GOAT Simone Biles on her way to the Tokyo Olympics. How cool!

 

————————————–

Guam’s Joey Miranda met up with Chamorrita Softball Star Bubba Nickles and Olympic Teammates Dejah Mulipola and Aubree Munro out in Tokyo!

Photo credit: GNOC

 

 

 

 

More in Basketball