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

September

October 2021

November
SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
Events for October

1st

No Events
Events for October

2nd

No Events
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Events for October

3rd

No Events
Events for October

4th

No Events
Events for October

5th

Events for October

6th

Events for October

7th

Events for October

8th

Events for October

9th

10
11
12
13
14
15
16
Events for October

10th

No Events
Events for October

11th

No Events
Events for October

12th

Events for October

14th

Events for October

15th

Events for October

16th

17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
Events for October

31st

No Events

National Guard Athletes

Rose Munoz

An educator, triathlete, mother and Guardsman all in one! The ever active Rose Munoz almost never stops moving, but she’s found a way to balance her busy life while serving from home!

 

Polls

Which 1st Quarter IIAAG/ISA sport are you most looking forward to?

View Results

COMING SOON …

Guam’s Strongest Man & Woman Competition OCTOBER 30

QUICK HITS

Bryant Pangelinan captured his 11th career medal at the IBJJF NoGi Jiu-Jitsu World Championships. Pangelinan battled for a bronze in the Master 3 Black Belt Heavyweight division in Dallas. 

———————————————-

 

 

 

More in Basketball