Kanoa FC to compete in Guam

Posted on Dec 18 2018


Markus Toves will suit up for Kanoa FC when the club plays in the Guam/NMI Friendlies in Dededo from Dec. 20 to 23. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Spring season champion Kanoa Football Club Boys U15 is heading to Guam this weekend to play against three teams in the 2018 Guam/NMI Friendlies.

CNMI national youth team members Merrick Toves, Brian Lubao, Jonathan Mindanao, and Daniel Mar Pablo will lead the Kanoa FC crew. Ian Lubao, Ian Karl and Jim Kurt Maniago, Joe Emil Antonio, John Mark Anastacio, Zyrus Lester Bata, Markus Toves, Renz Guiller Fauni, Sean Gil, and Taehun Han will also suit up for the visiting squad in the series of matches that will take place from Dec. 20 to 23 at the Guam Football Association National Training Center in Dededo. Raymond Zapanta will coach the team and will be assisted by Kanoa U18 player Sebastien Manabat, while club secretary Cristy Villaflor is the manager.

The core of the group going to Guam was part of the squad that handed Kanoa its first boys U15 crown in the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association’s youth league last April. Kanoa was undefeated in the 2018 spring season, as it finished the double-round robin competition with an 8-2-0 win-draw-loss record. The group also played in the fall season, but after only three games, the league was suspended (due to the damage left by Super Typhoon Yutu on Saipan) and Kanoa players have yet to return to the pitch for an organized game, so the friendlies in Guam are good news to them.

At the GFA facility, Kanoa FC U15 will be challenging Wings FC, Islanders, and Southern Cobras.

“We aim to win all our games. We hope that these off-island games will help our boys improve their individual and team skills. We would also like them to have fun, especially after what they have gone through during and after Super Typhoon Yutu hit Saipan. Most of our players lived in the southern part of Saipan which was badly affected by the storm,” Villaflor said.

The team manager added that even before Yutu, Kanoa had already planned to send its boys U15 squad to Guam, as the club brought its girls U15 and boys U12 squads in a similar event in Saipan’s southern neighbor last year. Kanoa’s U15 boys crew will have a tough task of duplicating the feat of the girls U15 and boys U12 teams that were undefeated in the 2017 GFA Fall Gobblefest Weekend. Jim Maniago, Antonio, Anastacio, Bata, Markus, Pablo, and Gil were part of the Kanoa U12 that won three games and drew two in last year’s friendlies.

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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