Micro Games done; Pacific Games next

With the conclusion of the 8th Micronesian Games in Pohnpei yesterday, the CNMI will shift its focus to the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.

“It’s time to start looking forward to the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea,” said CNMI chef de mission and Northern Marianas Sports Association president Michael White, who thanked the Commonwealth delegates, their supporters, and the host for the successful staging of this year’s Micro Games.

“Congratulations to our athletes, coaches, and officials for a job well done. Special thanks to all of our supporters, both here in Pohnpei and at home. You made our Games a memorable experience,” said White in a message sent to Saipan Tribune yesterday.

White joined several CNMI athletes and officials (from baseball and men’s and women’s basketball) in participating in the closing ceremony of the 8th Micronesian Games at the PNI Track in Field yesterday and expressed happiness with the Commonwealth’s performance in the 12-day competition.

“I’m very happy with our performance. Although we had a relatively small delegation, we took home a lot of medals. In most cases, we met expectations, and in a lot of cases, we exceeded them,” the NMSA head said.

The CNMI fielded teams in athletics, weightlifting, swimming, canoe racing, baseball, spearfishing, and men’s and women’s basketball in Pohnpei and had 100 delegates, including officials. Team Marianas went on to haul 14 gold medals, 15 silvers, and five bronzes. The CNMI’s total (34) is the second lowest in its Micro Games history. The Commonwealth had its most medals in the quadrennial meet in 2006 when it collected 98 (34-33-31) in the Games it hosted, however the best gold medal output (44) was registered during the 2010 Micro Games in Palau. The least medals (12) were posted in the inaugural competition on Saipan in 1969. In 1990 (Saipan), the CNMI notched 38, 78 each in 1994 (Guam) and 1998 (Palau), and 67 in 2002 (Pohnpei).

The CNMI sent nearly 150 delegates in Palau with the swim team accounting for most of the medals (35) of the squad. Athletics had 25, tennis contributed 11, table tennis added six, triathlon tallied four, and baseball and women’s basketball chipped in one each.
In Pohnpei, the Commonwealth’s track and field bets had the most medals for Team Marianas with 15. The CNMI Athletics Team was composed of Rachel Abrams, Lia Rangamar, Denise Samson, Friendly Joy Pena, Zarinae Sapong, Beo Ngirchongor, Brandon Phillip, Dylan Ackerman, Seiya Eda, Michael Mancao, Jason Lampkin, Doris Rangamar, Sylvan Rangamar, Ronald Olopai, Antonio Ichiou, Jesse James, Dan Joab and Jaynard White. Elias Rangamar was the head coach, while Karatel Phillip was the team manager.

The CNMI then drew 12 medals from weightlifters Raymond Santos, David Barnhouse Jr., Leo Apelo, and Salvi Villanueva, four from swimmer Victoria Chentsova, and one from paddlers Ketson “Jack” Kabiriel, James Pedro Aldan Jr., Carter Calma, Benusto Olopai, and Joshua Andrew.

The Commonwealth’s last two medals (silver and bronze) were courtesy of its baseball and women’s basketball teams. The CNMI Baseball Team took the silver medal last Tuesday after losing to Guam in the finals, 6-14. Tony Rogolifoi managed the runners-up, which had Joshua Jones, Manny Sablan, Byron Kaipat, Tyrone Omar, Vince Cepeda, Ben Jones Jr, Jerome Delos Santos, Roy Celis, Ian Rogolifoi, Brian Camacho, Rocco Reyes, Jared Sablan, Diego Camacho, Jun Rabauliman, Peter Lieto, Joe Palacios, Jr. Greg Iskawa, Anthony Benavente, Tom Camacho, Patrick Alepuyo, and Chris Camacho as players and Mel Sakisat as coach.

In women’s basketball, the CNMI won its bronze medal game against Pohnpei, 83-59. Irish Pagarao top-scored for the Commonwealth with her 17 points, while Rachel Abrams backed her up with 13 markers and seven rebounds, according to KSPN’s report aired yesterday. Joining Abrams and Pagarao on the team were Lia Rangamar, Ira Palero, Lilly Williams, Jamie Mendoza, Teresita Sablan, Madeleine Alegre, Marie Javier, Antonette Labausa, and Michelle Kautz. Elias Rangamar coached the team with Preston Basa assisting him.

Meanwhile, Guam ruled this year’s Micro Games after bringing home 42 gold medals, 27 silvers, and 12 bronzes. Pohnpei finished second with its 36-41-37 and a field-best 114 medals, while Palau rounded out the Top 3, dislodging the Marshall Islands. Palau also had 36 gold medals, but collected only 31 silvers to go with its 38 bronzes. Marshall Islands fell to fourth with its 34-23-33 tally, followed by Yap (17-23-15), the CNMI (14-15-5), Kosrae(4-3-11), Nauru (3-9-5), Chuuk (3-4-9), and Kiribati (0-0-0).

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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