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Cuki and company step up preparation

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Purebred Guam Academy’s Stephen Roberto gestures to Trench Tech BJJ practitioners during a break in their training session last Tuesday night at the Trench Tech Gym in Garapan. (Contributed Photo)

With about a week before they compete in the 2018 Asian IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship, Trench Tech fighters’ preparation for the Japan tournament got the needed boost.

Cuki Alvarez, who is among the 10 Trench Tech bets who will participate in the Sept. 7 to 9 competition dubbed as the “Asian Open,” said the group had a productive training session with Purebred Guam Academy’s Stephen Roberto last Tuesday night. Roberto is a third degree black belt Brazilian jiu jitsu professor and a three-time Asian Open champion (2010/masters division, 2013/senior 1, and 2015/masters 3).

“We had a great training session with our 3rd degree black belt professor Stephen Roberto from Purebred Guam Academy last night (Tuesday). We also had a team meeting with him, as well as discussion on game plan and strategies,” Alvarez told Saipan Tribune.

The Trench Tech founder added he and group’s nine other members will leave for Japan on Sept. 5. Alvarez will be competing in the brown belt masters 3 division. (146 lbs). Rounding out the Trench Tech delegation to the three-day tournament are Clinton Dela Cruz, Shane “Pikaboo Alvarez, Vince “The Clinch” Masga, Ken Tanzawa, Paulo Sangalang, Jeffery Garcia, Giovanni Taitingfong, Kier Agda, and Mark “The Dark” Nuique. Dela Cruz will join the black belt masters 1 146 lbs category; Pikaboo and Masga are in the adult male purple belt 146 lbs division; Tanzawa is in the purple belt 176 lbs; Sangalang and Garcia are competing in the blue belt 146 lbs; Taitingfong is entered in the blue belt 141 lbs; Agda is participating in the white belt 200lbs; and Nuique in also joining the white belt 146 lbs.

The 10 fighters’ trip to Japan is made possible by the generous contributions of the following: Marianas Visitors Authority, Saipan Crew Boats. Inc., FISG, Kaurz Glass, Mari-Pal Foundation, Mark Blackburn, and Dela Cruz.

Meanwhile, Nuique and two others were promoted last Tuesday night in a brief ceremony led by Roberto.

Nuique received his blue belt, the same recognition that sexagenarian Erin “Doc” Dean got, while Ray “Kimchi Base” Kim was awarded a purple belt.

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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