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19 make it to MBC-bound CNMI Team

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The CNMI’s Ben Jones dives to home plate and looks at the umpire during their title game against Guam in the Inaugural Micronesian Baseball Classic held at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield last year. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Saipan Baseball League has named the members of the CNMI Team that will compete in the 2nd Micronesian Baseball Classic in Palau next month.

The squad, which will be facing a tough task in Palau as it has to defend the title the Commonwealth won last year, is mostly made up of young guns and has seven players who were part of the team that defeated Guam in the finals during the inaugural MBC that Saipan hosted. Returning for another tour of duty with the CNMI are the Chalan Kanoa Bears’ Henry Lizama Jr., BSI Aces’ Ben Jones Jr. and Lamarc Iguel, Go See Mark’s Anthony Tenorio and Tyrone Omar, Titanium’s Joe Palacios, and the Falcons’ Giovanni Mira. Completing the initial roster are pitchers Nathan Guerrero of GSM, Manny Cabrera of BSI Aces, and M.J. Sakisat, and Richard Atalig, Jr. of the D-9ers; catcher Virgil Secharmidal of the Blue Jays; and infielders’ Angel Palacios of the CK Bears, Nathan Camacho and Jhace Palacios of Titanium; Jesus Iguel of the BSI Aces, Jesse Brel of GSM, Ian Norita of the Falcons, and the Comets’ Jobe Reyes; Lizama, Jones, Tenorio, and Omar will be the squad’s outfielders, while Mira and Iguel will join the infield crew, and Palacios will be part of the CNMI Team’s bullpen.

“We still need to pick up an infielder/pitcher and a catcher to complete the roster. We are still working on selecting the officials of the team,” SBL’s Tony Rogolifoi said.

The players selected will also begin training for the MBC, which will run from June 26 to 30 at the Asahi Baseball Stadium in Koror. The CNMI Team will go up against host Guam, Pohnpei, and possibly Yap. Palau will also field a junior team as a guest squad, but results of its games will not be counted in the standings.

SBL initially planned to also send a junior team to Palau, but after hearing that only the host will have a U18 crew, Rogolifoi and company decided to stick with one squad.

“With this team, we are not lacking in youth, anyways. We have a lot of young players that are capable of playing in a high-level tournament,” Rogolifoi said in an earlier interview with Saipan Tribune.

The SBL official added that they will hold several fundraising events before the squad leaves on June 24.

A volleyball tournament was held late last month to help fund the trip of the team to Palau, while this week, SBL will hold the MBC Slow-pitch Softball Tournament at the Capitol Hill Ballfield. Games will be played from Thursday to Sunday and the competition has a co-ed format.

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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