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ST. PAUL VS. SANCHEZ SATURDAY NIGHT

Warriors and Sharks Showdown in battle of Champions

By Patrick Lujan

Once, again GSPN presents a Champion vs. Champion showdown this Saturday night – this time high school girls basketball as the two league champions will see who’s the top team on island.

The St. Paul Warriors and Sanchez Sharks will do battle at 6 pm at the FD Phoenix Center. It will be broadcast live on www.guamsportsnetwork.com!

The Warriors have been sitting and waiting for their opponent after taking down the Academy Cougars for the IIAAG crown on December 12, while the Sharks took out the JFK Islanders in a barn-burner just a week ago for the ISA title.

Here’s a look at both teams heading into Saturday’s Showdown.

St. Paul Warriors

The Warriors are rich in basketball tradition, churning out championship-caliber teams for decades.

Head coach Derin Stinnett, who steered the Warriors to four straight titles as a star player when she was Derin Santos in 2004-2008, is rubbing off that championship mojo with the modern version Warriors. She has won the last two titles in just three years at the helm.

In typical St. Paul fashion, the Warriors run at a high tempo on both sides of the court. The backcourt sensation of point guard Ryanna Ngirchomlei and Sazzy Quintanilla attacks any defense imposed on them, able to penetrate and score from any angle of the floor.

The well-polished Gabby Hahn down low gives them a scoring threat in the box. Her step-back jumper was on display at the championship game as well as her true grit underneath, which led to her Player of the Game recognition under the bright lights against the Cougars. Sophomore center Bella Brub is the anchor down low to clean the glass and control the boards.

“The girls are excited for another opportunity to defend their All-Island championship title, coming off the win from the IIAAG season,” coach Stinnett said. “We know that the competition is just as tough so we continued to stay active and prepared to play the Sharks.”

Sanchez Sharks

The Sanchez Sharks girls are on a roll thus far this school year. After winning the ISA Volleyball League championship in the first quarter and the Champion of Champions title, the Lady Sharks won their first basketball title in 34 years.

The girls basketball championship was the first since 1989 of the northern school. With coaches Arvin Domingo and Tim Edillor leading the way, the Sharks dethroned the two-time championship JFK Islanders.

The job is not done yet for the girls. They have the Champion vs. Champion game versus a strong St. Paul Warrior team, and then they head to Manila for another tournament.

Co-captains Ronnie Dela Cruz and Kayna Kanemoto will try and offset the balanced attack that will be coming from the Warriors.

“It feels so accomplishing. I just did what I could to help the team in volleyball and now basketball, “said ISA Volleyball MVP and champion Kanemoto.

“This group of girls love playing with and for each other that being able to play one more game together is a great feeling, especially that it’s against the IIAAG champions,” head coach Domingo said. “We’ve actually been practicing and playing through the break. (Yesterday) was our first day back so we just had to refocus and get ready for Saturday’s game.”

Tune in Saturday at 6 pm on www.guamsportsnetwork.com. Jay Leon Guerrero and Jimmie Yi will be bringing it all live.

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COMING SOON …

10th Micronesian Games from Marjuro June 15-24

Guam National Bodybuilding Championship June 29

QUICK HITS

Coach Donan Cruz and the U.S. Men’s U21 National Team took home gold at the 2024 NORCECA Continental Championship with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 27-25) win over Canada on Sunday evening in Nogales, Mexico. The victory guaranteed the U.S. a spot in the 2025 FIVB U21 World Championship.
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Congratulations to the 2024 Guam Rugby Cup Champions: Tao Tao Mana (Men’s Cup Champions) and Southern Rugby Club (Women’s Cup Champions)

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