CNMI brings home Fair Play Award


The CNMI U14 Boys National Team players pose with their Fair Play Award and are joined in the photo by officials and organizers of the AFC U14 Regional (East) Festival of Football 2016 held at the Xianghe National Football Training Center in Beijing, China last week. (Contributed Photo)

The CNMI U14 Boys National Team won the only award given in the AFC U14 Regional (East) Festival of Football 2016 held at the Xianghe National Football Training Center in Beijing, China last week.

The Commonwealth crew brought home the Fair Play Award for showing exceptional sportsmanship in the four games they played in Group B of the event.

“The Team deserved it because of the sportsmanship and respect they showed to the other teams, referees, and AFC officials. No other award was given in the festival. The CNMI was the only team with no cards during the festival,” said coach Jershwin Angeles, who returned to Saipan with the rest of the Commonwealth delegation early yesterday morning.

The CNMI squad was composed of Michael Rojas, Sebastien Manabat, Mark Salamat, Kirt Andon, Ichiro Borja, Terrence Montenegro, John Guiller Canape, Jamin Elliot, Edward Cho, Mark Esalan, Joshua Waldon, Brandon Delos Reyes, Christian Aldan, Kirro Batino, Thomas Benavente, John Paul Cruz, Joshua Mendez, and Eun Syu Hahn. Wai Wo Lee was the assistant coach, while NMIFA technical director and CNMI Men’s National Coach Kiyoshi Sekiguchi served as head of the delegation.

“Congratulations to our team and officials. This (award) shows that our boys are good representatives of the CNMI. Thank you coaches for training and teaching them well,” NMIFA general secretary Ross Zapanta said in a message sent to Angeles.

Other supporters of the team also expressed their appreciation for the Teen Ayuyus, who may have not won a single match in the festival, but earned the admiration of the other participating squads and the organizers for showing respect for the game and their opponents.

“Way to go U14 NT and officials! So proud of you for being the great CNMI ambassadors and working so hard against strong opponents,” NMIFA vice president Vickie Izuka said through an email sent to Angeles.

The Teen Ayuyus first played Guam and forced a 2-2 draw before bowing to Japan, 0-17. The CNMI bets were also shut down by another powerhouse team—South Korea—0-14, but closed out their assignment by scoring two more goals in a loss to Mongolia, 2-7.

“There are still big differences between the CNMI and Korea: size, strength, power, skills and speed. But I believe the boys learned a lot from this game, especially the first timers,” the CNMI coach said.

For their last game, Angeles said the Teen Ayuyus hung tough in the first half and were aggressive both on offense and defense.

“The first half was 3-2. From a corner kick, the ball dropped in front of Sebastien and he just kicked it in to make our first goal. Kirt scored from a 30-yard free kick, it was low and to the left bottom of the goal. Mongolia’s wall was in off position so Kirt took advantage and the Mongolia GK was not able to do anything,” he said.

“Most of the boys cried after the game, the Mongolian players hugged and cheered them up. It was a great moment for both teams. I believe the boys cried because they gave everything for this game but not enough to win it. We still made history today (last Saturday) by scoring two goals against Mongolia,” Angeles added.

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.

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.