All is set for the return to action of the IT&E Interscholastic Basketball League, as the CNMI Public School System has approved the resumption of sports competitions among students.
The Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Federation, which manages the interscholastic basketball program, said the IT&E Interscholastic Basketball League will reopen in style, as there will be two division tournaments—boys and girls high school.
The girls high school games will kick off tomorrow, Jan. 19, with Saipan Southern High School taking on Mt. Carmel School at 5pm on the north court of the Marianas High School Gymnasium. On the southern end, it will be MHS versus Kagman High School.
The boys high school will also start this week, with all seven participating teams having their season debut this Friday, Jan. 21. In the pair of matches on the north court, Saipan Southern will duel Kagman’s varsity team at 5pm, while Saipan International School will square off against Marianas High School in the 5:45pm tiff. Before battling MHS, the Geckos will first face Mt. Carmel School’s junior varsity team on the south court for the 5pm match, while in the 5:45pm schedule, Da’ok Academy will debut against Mt Carmel Varsity.
Games in the boys high school will also be played every Wednesday, but only one match each on the north and south courts are scheduled, while four matches are slated every Friday. The girls high school matches are set for every Wednesday. The season will conclude with a double-elimination tournament for each division in March with Rota and Tinian allotted slots in the playoff round.
“The NMIBF is excited for the resumption of the IT&E Interscholastic Basketball League as this will allow our students access to the program and to showcase their skills again. We would also like to thank IT&E for its continued commitment despite the challenges we are facing after the league’s successful kick-off via the girls middle school competition, and the CNMI PSS leadership for their support to the program,” NMIBF president James Lee.
The NMIBF head added that the federation will be working closely with the PSS Athletic Program director Nick Gross in following protocols at the MHS Gymnasium. Some safety measures that will be implemented at the venue include designating the west side bleachers for spectators only and requiring them to practice social distancing and wear a mask. Spectators are also required to use the main entrance of the gym (north-west main entrance), while the east side bleachers and south-west entrance are reserved for players, coaches, and officials. Both entrances will require logging in upon arrival and temperature checks. (PR)