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DEFENDING GOLD IS GOAL FOR WOMEN’S HOOPS

Women’s basketball looking for a four-peat

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The Guam Women’s National Basketball Team is set to defend their gold medal at the 10th Micronesian Games next week in Majuro. Like the men’s team, this squad is youthful and stacked with skilled players.

Guiding the team are head coach Arlene Mad and assistant coach Charrisse Bolabola.

The “veterans” of the group have not reached the age of 27. Despite their youth, the team has international experience across the roster.

Mia San Nicolas is coming off a successful college career at Geneva College (First Team All-PAC).  She and Elysa Perez are the lone returnees from the last contingent for team Guam at the Micronesian Games hosted by Yap in 2018. “There is one goal for us: to defend our gold medal,” said San Nicolas.

San Nicolas, along with Perez, Jia Peters, and Alura Hernandez, will also represent Guam in the 3×3 event.

It’s going to be a busy week of competition, but the team is prepared for the challenge.

“The 3×3 game is a little more intense, so I’m going to have to make sure I’m hydrated with lots of electrolytes and ensure I’m icing my body,” said Perez.

The Guam women’s 3×3 hoops team consists of (L-R): Elysia Perez, Mia San Nicolas, Alura Hernandez and Jia Peters

“There are a lot of expectations with this group. We have a good mix of young players that have different styles of play. We have shooters, drivers, bigs, and some players that are all-around,” added Perez.

Assistant coach Bolabola said that based on her experience, the teams in Micronesia should have a size advantage. The strategy is to use speed and skill to win games.

The guards will be pushing the pace with Tori Rapadas, Kailie Cello, and Perez looking for fast break points. Mia Taitano, Alura Hernandez, Maria-Jean Paulino, and Lana Quinata are running the wing to score on early offense sets. 

San Nicolas, Amara Del Carmen and Jia Peters will be alternating on defense as the team centers. All three players are known to score in paint and also sink long-distance shots.

San Nicolas, Taitano, Hernandez and Peters were all IIAAG High School MVPs. Peters will be entering her junior year at St John’s. Quinata is the youngest player on the team, just finished her freshman year at Southern High School.    

“Mia (San Nicolas) and I used to be the youngest ones in the senior national team,” said Perez. Perez said the roles are changed, and she, along with San Nicolas, are ready to lead the squad.

“During the last Micronesian Games, I was one of the youngest players on the team. Now, I have more experience, especially coming off my college season,” said San Nicolas.

Guam will play in Group A and will play against Palau, Kiribati, and Pohnpei in 5×5 pool play. The 3×3 team will start their games on Saturday. Guam will face Palau to start the Games.

“It’s been an absolute privilege and honor to represent Guam once again. I am excited for these games,” said San Nicolas.

Team Guam Roster
Kailie Cello
Princess (Amara) Del Carmen
Alura Hernandez
Maria-Jean Paulino
Elysia Perez
Jia Peters
Lana Quinata
Victoria (Tori) Rapadas
Mia San Nicolas
Maria (Mia) Taitano

Head Coach
Arlene Mad

Assistant Coach
Charrisse Bolabola

Team History
2018 – Gold (Yap)
2014 – Gold (Pohnpei)
2010 – Gold (Palau)
2006 – Did Not Compete (CNMI)
2002 – Bronze (Pohnpei)

3X3 Game schedule
June 15th – Guam vs. Palau, Guam vs. Marshall Islads
June 16th – Guam vs. Kiribati, Guam vs. Nauru
June 17th – Guam vs. Pohnpei
June 17th – Semi-finals and Gold Medal Match

5×5 Game schedule
June 18th – Guam vs. Palau
June 19th – Guam vs. Kiribati
June 20th – Guam vs. Pohnpei
June 21st – Quarterfinals
June 22nd – Semifinals
June 23rd – Bronze, Gold Medal Match

Guam’s Women’s Basketball National Team prepares before heading to Majuro for the 10th Micronesian Games. (courtesy photo)

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COMING SOON …

Father Duenas Alumni Basketball Tournament

DPR Liberation Village Baseball Tournament

Liberation Miler

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