‘More difficult to select Top 20’
With less than a month for the Saipan Baseball League to make its second and final cut to bring down the training team pool to 20, coaches are already having sleepless nights about making that difficult decision.
CNMI national baseball coach Gary Cruz, for one, said all the 56 players that originally tried out for the team were talented.
He even praised the 20 that didn’t make the first cut for trying out and doing their best in the monthlong training, which included an arduous fitness regimen conducted by strength and conditioning coach Joey Tudela.
“Thank you for your time and effort coming out to the tryouts. Unfortunately we are not able to select every individual that tries out for the team. We had so much talent that tried out and so much talent also still in the tryouts which makes it even more difficult to select the top 20. Overall we appreciate everyone’s time in coming out and showcasing their skills,” he said.
Cruz, along with CNMI national baseball team manager Manny Sablan and coach Deron Flores, last week bared the 36 players that made the first cut and are continuing to try out for the Mini Games defending champions CNMI National Baseball Team.
They are the following: Pat Alepuyu, Dennis Cabrera, Jerald Cabrera, Diego Camacho, Devyn Flores, Juan Iguel, Ben Jones Jr., Darion Jones, Byron Kaipat, A.J. Lizama, Poland Masaharu Jr., Franco Nakamura, John Peter Sablan, Nokki Saralu, Lorenzo Sebaklim, Nate Smith, Anthony Tenorio, Shane Yamada, Tyrone Omar, Joshua Jones, Jesus Iguel, Lamarc Iguel, Jordan Suel, Keoni Lizama, Brian Camacho, Nathan Camacho, Patrick Tenorio, Ze Lizama, Jose Lizama Jr., Jacob L. Babauta, Nate Guerrero, Angel Palacios, Eric Palacios, T.J. Cruz, Giovanni Mira, and T.J. Dela Cruz.
With 136 expected players, baseball will be played at the Francisco “Tan Ko” M. Baseball Field, which has a planned facelift coming.
Aside from baseball, the other sports that will see action in next year Mini Games are athletics, badminton, beach volleyball, golf, outrigger canoe or va’a, tennis, triathlon, and weightlifting.