QUEEN B’S SCORE BIG IN GAME AGAINST NENI B’S

By GSPN

Sunday in the APL Women’s Fast pitch Softball League put the veterans vs. their younger counterparts with the Queen B’s totaling a 28-11 victory over the Neni B’s. The game stayed close through three innings before the Queen’s surmounted a 14-run 5th and 6th inning to blow the game open.

Up 14-10 with steady flow of offense from both sides, The Queen’s went from the top of their line-up to start the huge 5th. A double from Desare Thomas followed by a double from Veronica Ignacio set up a third straight double from Latoya Mojica.

Pitching struggles hit the Neni’s as they walked five straight runs in with the score getting up 23-10. With time running against them, the umpires called for the Neni’s final at bat appearance with Olivia Salas managing to secure an RBI before a pair of strikeouts ended the game.

Action in the APL Women’s League will move to Guerrero Field start Tuesday with a big showdown between ADZTech and Southern.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

PACIFIC GAMES: WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

By Kai Akimoto

The Guam National Women’s Basketball Team is gearing up to represent the Island in the Pacific Games next week in Samoa. The team has been preparing for over four months under head coach, Paul Pineda, and is eager to compete in the international tournament.

This year’s squad is in no shortage of talent, but when coupled with a growing team chemistry, the expected outcome could be very promising.

Head Coach Paul Pineda aims to implement a game plan that will utilize the amount of depth on the current roster. Size has always been a disadvantage for Guam in international competition, but where they lack in size they make up for in athleticism.

A faster, more aggressive play style is necessary to make up for size differences. To simulate how their style of play ranks up to the level of competition the team will be facing in Samoa, Pineda even organized a trip to the Philippines to scrimmage several collegiate and national teams.

Destiny Castro is faithful in the versatility and athleticism of her teammates.

“With this team’s talent, we are very well-rounded. Defensively we have a very fast team, so we can probably keep up on the defensive end and even trap the whole game. On offense, everyone knows how to play, so if we can just bring together all of our different aspects of our game that we bring to the table, we have a very strong team.”

One key asset that this particular squad possesses is roster depth. The overall caliber of talent on this year’s roster rises above that of past delegations. The combination of experienced veterans and young talent creates a balance that compliments the individual skill sets of each of the players.

With veterans such as Jocelyn Pardilla, who has represented Guam in two Pacific Games, leading a talented corps that consists of household names such as Kali Benevente and Destiny Castro, this particular squad has the potential to be the most productive to represent Guam yet.

Jocelyn Pardilla, who has represented Guam twice at the Pacific Games in her career, believes that the more cohesive the group becomes, the greater they will be.

“I think this team has really good depth. We got players who have skill, talent, and also experience. We also have girls who just have a great over all basketball I.Q. We have all the key aspects, now it’s just about meshing everyone together and building that team chemistry.”

Castro went court-side to discuss the talent-filled roster and what their focus has been on since preparing for the 2019 Pacific Games.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

ADZTECH WINS ON A WALK-OFF TO HOLD DOWN ISLANDERS

By Robert Balajadia

Action heated up in the APL Women’s Softball League Saturday featuring a nail-bitting finish between ADZTech and the Islanders. Even with the game pushing their two-hour time limit, it took all seven innings to eventually decide the winner with ADZTech getting a 10-9 victory in walk-off fashion.

Picking up in the bottom of the 7th, Sherika Cabrera had the game winning run sitting on 2nd base in teammate Coleen Quinata. Facing Islanders Pilar George at the mound, Cabrera knocked a huge double to allow Quinata to spring in safely to steal the game 10-9 on a back-and-forth contest.

The Islanders were rocking the early 5-1 lead in the 3rd inning before ADZTech made their comeback. A pair of wild pitches followed by a sac-fly from Coleen allowed ADZTech to jump ahead 6-5 to complete a four-inning 3rd.

George answered in the top of the 4th with an RBI single, but ADZTech responded with two more runs to hold an 8-6 lead through four complete innings.

With the umpires calling for time, the top of the 6th inning was supposed to be the Islanders last at bat facing the two-score deficit.

Kiyoni Yamaguchi tied the game at eight in the top of the 6th inning with an RBI single with loaded bases. Meagan Maratita managed to keep the Islanders off the board with two strikeouts to close the top of the 6th.

ADZTech needed one run to win the game, and they nearly got it off a single from Dorean Calvo, but Calvo was unable to beat the throw to first base, negating her potential winning RBI.

Errors would hurt ADZTech in the top of the 7th with a pass ball giving up their lead as the Islanders mounted a 9-8 advantage. The defense managed to keep the deficit by a single run before the sticks came alive in the 7th.

Quinata was the beneficiary of Cabrera’s big hit, giving ADZTech their second win in Week 2 of the APL Softball League.

In the later game, Juice would defeat Wildfire 12-2 via 10-run rule.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

PACIFIC GAMES: WEIGHTLIFTING

By Robert Balajadia

Six of Guam’s athletes will be carrying more than just the weight of Guam on their shoulders as they travel to Samoa to represent the island in weightlifting. Five females and one male get ready to add the Pacific Games under their competitive belt, a first for all six.

The team has been ramping it up during final week of preparation. Each of the lifters have all been hitting their normal percentages and are all expecting to push for their own personal bests come competition time.

The lifters will be participating in two events: the snatch lift and clean and jerk, where each competitor will get three lifts.

The Oceania Championships for Weightlifting will also being going on at the same time which puts some added pressure on the team to perform their best, especially for Guam’s only Male in David Bautista.

“Overall, the experience is important, but I get the chance to see where I stand overall. I’ve been pushing really hard, but I’m going to get to see how the rest of the Pacific lifts as well so I’m a little bit of both: excited and nervous,” said Bautista.

And if anything, Bautista is just hoping to set an example for the up-and-coming lifters on Guam.

“I really hope that this influences the youth so that the sport and competition gets bigger here on Guam. I want them to take it further. Maybe by that time I’ll be coaching or even lifting in some masters events,” said David.

The chemistry has been a real positive for the team with the small group getting some extra bonding time even outside of training.

Jacinta Sumagaysay took a set for a video interview to talk about their training thus far, what to expect in the games and how the team has come together:

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

PACIFIC GAMES: MEN’S VOLLEYBALL

By Kai Akimoto

With the Guam contingent flying out to Samoa to participate in the 2019 Pacfic Games within the next few weeks, the national Men’s Volleyball team has been preparing rigorously to represent the Island against the region’s top volleyball talent. Under head coach, Joel Quitigua, the team is comprised of the most dedicated and passionate members of Guam’s volleyball community.

“Our athletes have to hold full time jobs. A lot of them have to train and take care of a family. So if you see a national team player, go and give them a hug because they really are sacrificing a lot just because they love representing the island,” said coach Joel Quitigua on the challenges that his team faces in preparation for the games.

Although the roster features some members with more than 20 years of experience representing the island, for a majority, this tournament will be a novel experience. All but two players, JP Taimanglo and Eric Ada, have competed in a Pacific Games and a few players have returned home with collegiate experience under their belt, bringing a uniquely refined level of play to the team.

“It is a first experience for many of these guys. Mostly everyone has represented Guam in some sort of international play, but this is at a whole new level. We just want to start putting players through a system that takes them at a young age and primes them for competition. We’re going to be facing teams that come from islands that have populations that are huge. We might have 50 guys come try out for team while an island like Fiji might have like 1000 or so. They have such a large pool of athletes to pull from compared to us,” said Quitigua on how he aims to use the amount of youth on the team.

The training that the team has endured over the past months in preparation for the Pacific Games has been a true test for each of the players. JP Taimanglo, who has represented Guam for 20 years, is eager to be competing with such a young team.

“There’s a lot of commitment needed to represent the Island. But overall, we are contributing to the community by getting exposure to bring our players to the next level and better the talent on the island.”

The veteran Taimanglo posted up for an interview to talk about being the veteran on the really young squad.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

VIDEO: MIEKO, MIYUU AND MANAMI SHARE A MEAL

Former professional athlete Mieko Carey, current star MMA athletes Miyuu Yamamoto and current professional athlete Manami Iijima sat down with GSPN’s Patrick Lujan at Issin Restaurant to share their Japanese culture, what life of a pro athlete is like, eat some good Japanese food and how being on Guam has helped them further their goals.

PACIFIC GAMES: TAEKWONDO

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The Guam Taekwondo National team will look to win multiple medals with a contingent of five athletes competing in Pacific Games in Samoa. The squad, which is still a very young team, will bring three Pacific Games veterans and two highly skilled prospects. Alexander Allen, Joseph Ho and Amber Toves were at the previous Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea and will bring Leon Ho and Tierra-Lynn Chargualaf to Samoa.

In the last Pacific Games, Allen medalled in his weight division and he looks to add another medal to his resume.

“We have that intensity and knowing what to expect with experience from the last Pacific Games. We have trained harder and smarter to properly adjust ourselves and now we are going to put it all to the test,” said Allen.

Allen said the competition is usually taller in height at the Pacific Games but the team is ready for the challenge.

Coaches Mike Ho and Ronald Cook will guide the athletes during their competition which is scheduled towards the end of the Pacific Games (July 16-19) at the Harvest Centre Faleata.

Joseph and Leon Ho are the sons of coach Mike Ho and newcomer Leon said he will look to the advice his father and older brother. “It makes me feel a little more comfortable knowing they have been there before. But I know they will push me to do my best,” said Leon Ho.

“The Pacific Games (four years ago) was actually my first competition.  I’ve gained alot of experience since then and I’ve learned to be more calm,” said Toves.

“Im going to focus on the guidance from my teammates (for my first Pacific Games),” said Chargualaf. “Coach has been very strict on us to stay committed so we can get better and hopefully medal at the Pacific Games.”

The Taekwondo team will compete towards the end of the Pacific Games and will be there for the closing ceremonies.

“Its a good feeling to represent Guam. To wear that Guam jacket and walk into the stadium is a good feeling to be a part of this team,” said Joseph Ho.

Taekwondo won a bronze medal at the last Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea, they are eager to take the mats and bring home more hardware for Guam. With the experience at several tournaments overseas and the guidance of coach Mike Ho, look for the contingent to be in contention.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

CAMACHO, ALVAREZ GET PROMOTED TO BLACK BELT

Saipan promotions: Purebred professor Stephen Roberto promoted Frank ‘The Crank’ Camacho and Cuki Alvarez to jiu-jitsu black belts at the Trench Tech/Purebred gym Tuesday night.

It is the first black belt promotion for the CNMI.

PACIFIC GAMES: MEN & WOMEN’S VA’A

By Robert Balajadia

While most of Team Guam will be holding down the courts and field in the 2019 Pacific Games, Guam’s Va’a team will be braving Samoa’s waters. Both the men and women’s team have been hitting rigorous training since Fall of 2018 and they’re in the final stretch before they head out to the Games.

Women’s Events
V6 – 500m, 1500m, 15 miles
V1 – sprints, 10 miles

Men’s Events
V6 – 500m, 1500m, 15 miles
V1 – 500m, 10 miles

Guam’s Va’a ladies have a handful of returnees from the Micro Games where they managed to secure silver medals in the sprints and a bronze in the distance races. Kiara Quichocho, one of the youngest members on the team, stated that this is going to be an event featuring some of the world’s best in Va’a and that being a part of it all is an quite an experience within itself.

The ladies spend most of their time at Matapang beach, getting the last bit of tuning in during what is known in the Va’a Community as ‘Hell Week’, where they ramp up the intensity during workouts. Head coach Josh Duenas has mixed in numerous cardio workouts while the girls hit sprint drills to keep their conditioning on point.

For the men’s team, chemistry and hitting their final week of prep is all coming into fruition. With a good mix of veterans and young paddlers, the team has been showing a lot of growth. John Aguon explained that the teams dedication has been second to none with many willing to go two-a-days for a workout just to put in the extra time.

Guam’s men weren’t satisfied with their performance in the 2018 Micro Games, and their hunger to improve has them on a much stricter program that has changed their diet and overall nutrition.

Quichocho and Aguon elaborated more on the team’s prep and what it’s going to mean to represent Guam in Samoa’s waters.


PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Women’s Va’a

Men’s Va’a

PACIFIC GAMES: SWIMMING

By Jay Leon Guerrero

Guam’s top swimmers look forward to standing on the medal podium for next month’s Pacific Games in Samoa. The contingent, coached by Ed Ching and Don San Agustin, has a mixture of youth and veterans with Olympic experience.

Benji Schulte and Jagger Stephens are currently overseas for training while the rest of the team is working hard every day at Hagatna Pool. The team will meet in Samoa prior to the opening ceremonies. 

“I’m the only female in the group but I’ve travelled before as the only female so it’s really nothing new,” said Mineri Gomez. “We’ve been training twice a day in the pool or at the gym. It’s a lot of sacrifice not only for us but also for our coaches who take their time to help us as well.” 

“I have the least experience amongst my teammates and I know they will be there to help me in my first international event,” said Sebastian Castro.

Castro will have two Olympians to share the experience with Chris Duenas and Schulte in Samoa to help guide Castro. “There’s a lot of good competition in the Pacific Games so this will be a good gauge to see where I’m at.” Castro is just 15 years-old and attends Harvest Christian Academy. 

Swimming earned the most medals for team Guam at the last Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea with a total of six medals: Schulte had four (two golds, a silver and a bronze) and Pilar Shimizu had two silvers for Team Guam. Schulte and Shimizu both represented Guam the following year at the Olympic Games in Rio.  

“I’m excited to compete in my first Pacific Games. I’m looking forward to representing Guam and having fun,” said Imazu. Imazu is also 15-years old and attends John F. Kennedy High School. 

The swimming venue will take place at the Aquatic Centre Faleata and the competition will last from July 9-13. Gomez will also swim in the open water event on July 8th at the Sheraton Beach Resort Mulifanua.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY: