Lance, Azriel hailed for performances in Guam

Posted on Nov 29 2022



Lance Lerio and Azriel Fatialofa were the top performers for the NMI in the recently concluded FIBA U15 Oceania Championship Guam 2022.

The NMI boys U15 national team manager Mike Mercado praised the 5’9” Lerio for his all-around performance in the six-day Guam tourney.

“Our biggest performer was Lance Lerio. He was the most efficient player all around, the rest of the boys contributed as well whether on the court or locker room leadership, he said.


In four games, Lerio averaged 17.5 points per game and 15 rebounds. He also saved his best for last, firing 21 points and grabbing 21 rebounds in their narrow 1-point loss to Papua New Guinea in the classification game.

Mercado also gave a nod to top scorer Christian Lucero, who averaged 20.5 points per game and playmaker Mike Mercado Jr. for his leadership. 

“I also want to acknowledge Michael Mercado Jr. for being the team captain who held a firm voice in the locker room, encouraging and keeping the squad together during the hard times they encountered,” he said of his son.

NMI girls U15 national team head coach Marlene Lumabi, meanwhile, said the 6’0” Fatialofa showed her potential during the Guam tourney.

“I had a couple girls who stepped up but our captain Azriel was one of our best performers. She kept encouraging her teammates and stepped up her leadership skills. She not only was a leader but a beast! She hustled when she needed to and kept the team afloat.”

Fatialofa finished second in the team in scoring behind Kaitlyn Chavez (21.8 ppg) at 20.5 ppg but led the team in rebounds at 18 rebounds per game.

Lumabi also thanked the Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Federation for facilitating their participation in the FIBA U15 Oceania Championship Guam 2022.

“I’d like to thank the federation for giving me the opportunity to coach our U15 girls, our supporters, my athletes for finishing strong, and my fellow coaches for helping me guide our athletes,” she said.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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