CCOPSA caging opens Feb. 19, draws 13 teams


The 2018-2019 Commonwealth Coalition of Private Schools Association Varsity Basketball League will kick off on Feb. 19 and will feature 13 squads.

In the boys division, Mount Carmel School and Agape Christian School will be fielding two teams each and they will play against Saipan International School, Grace Christian Academy, and two public schools—Kagman High School and Saipan Southern High School.

Saipan Southern will also compete in the girls division, which has two squads from Mt. Carmel and one each from Agape and GCA.

This is the second consecutive year that public schools will be participating in the CCOPSA varsity caging and league committee chair John Blanco is looking forward to the new layers of competition that KHS and SSHS will add to the league.

“We want to continue to give the CCOPSA [private school] members the chance to play other schools outside of our association,” Blanco said. “Ultimately, having more schools playing each other is a win-win situation for all participants because it allows for greater competition and more games in the season.”

Blanco added that they also extended an invitation to Marianas High School, but the Dolphins are unable to join at this time. The league chair is hopeful that they will be able to finalize future collaborations with MHS next season.

“To be fair, we did offer all the public schools a chance to play, but MHS opted out,” Blanco said. “Next year, we hope to return to a normal schedule and hopefully we can find a way to have all schools participating again during the same time. We look forward to working with our public school partners at PSS.”

Matches in the varsity league will be played at the various school courts. However, since Super Typhoon Yutu damaged MCS and SSHS’ courts, the Knights and Manta Rays will be utilizing the Koblerville Gymnasium for the duration of the season.

“We needed to find alternate venues for MCS and SSHS to have their home games. Fortunately, it appears to have worked so far,” Blanco said. “Through some schedule shuffling, MCS and SSHS are able to share the Koblerville Gymnasium.”

Referees wanted; will be paid
Meanwhile, the league is looking for referees that will officiate next week’s matches.

Referees will be paid $20 per game. League matches are scheduled three to four times a week with the first game at 3:30pm and the second at 4:30pm. Interested referees must attend a meeting this Friday at 4pm at the MCS faculty lounge and undergo training sessions that will be conducted by Mariana Islands Basketball Federation’s Elias Rangamar.

For more information, call 287-9687.

Roby N. Pamintuan

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