CNMI Sharks host Team Guahan tomorrow

Candico Taman, left, tries to pull CNMI Sharks’ Kelvin Fitial away from Ibrahim Mansaray in their friendly match in November 2014 at the CPA Airport Field. (Jon Perez)

The Commonwealth Football League Association’s (CFLA) CNMI Sharks men’s tackle football team returns to action tomorrow as it takes on Team Guahan at 2:30pm at the CPA Airport Field.

The game will be the third between the two teams.

The Sharks are coming off a big win in the Philippines against the PH Templars, 68-0, on April 9 at the Gatorade Blue Pitch Field in Makati. Despite their dominant performance in the Philippines, the CNMI Sharks are 0-2 against Team Guahan since 2013. The Sharks predecessors, the CNMI Warriors, went 0-4 in head-to-head matchups against teams from Guam from 2000 to 2004.

Not wanting to allow the upstart CNMI team too much leeway, Team Guahan is looking to bring out a strong squad to remind its neighbors to the north that Guam is still the football power in the Marianas. With a well-established football program ranging from its youth to the men’s and women’s ranks, Guam definitely has a clear advantage over the CNMI and other teams in the region.

Tempering their apparent dominance in the sport though, Guam head coach, Joey Guerrero said “Team Guahan always looks forward to playing against our brothers from the Northern Marianas Islands and promote a safe and healthy football game!”

For their part, the CNMI Sharks realize that Team Guahan is a different opponent altogether and will be loaded with all-star talents for the upcoming contest. “Our team knows that Guam is the football powerhouse in the region and is not be taken lightly,” said Sharks head coach John Blanco.

“Regardless of whoever wins or loses, the game will be pretty fun for both sides. The guys do this for the love of the game. Despite the brutal nature of the game, the camaraderie amongst the players is pretty strong,” Blanco added.

“One day, both the NMI and Guam will collaborate to perform on a bigger stage,” Guerrero said.

The game looks to be another exciting match-up and both teams are encouraging football enthusiasts to come out and watch the game. (PR)

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