NMI women’s basketball team shaping up

Veteran coach Elias Rangamar said that he is slowly seeing the composition of the CNMI women’s basketball team after the first day of tryouts last Monday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

The tryout, the last of which is set on Feb. 10 from 1pm to 3pm also at the Ada Gym, is for the squad that would compete in the 9th Micronesian Games, which will run from July 15 to 28 in Yap. The men’s tryouts will also take place on Feb. 10 from 3pm to 5pm and the second and last set on Feb. 17 at the same time.

Rangamar said that 14 women showed up in last Monday’s tryout and they participated in drills and light scrimmage.

“It’s good for me to see them early. I expect the 14 to be here again on Saturday and more walk-ins,” added Rangamar, who is going to be the national head coach for the CNMI men’s and women’s squads.

“I’m already looking at four to five possible candidates from the ones who tried out last Monday. If ever they would make it to the pool, those who are off-island would join them. In that way, it won’t be hard for me to make the cut,” he said.

The many-time national team player and coach said that most of the players that took part in the tryout showed quickness on the floor.

“We will still see how they will fare against players from Rota and Tinian. I’m going to take maybe at least 12 and then combine them with Rota and Tinian players. I know some of them, but I still want to see them play here,” said Rangamar.

MIBF will hold separate tryouts for Rota and Tinian and players who will be selected will be included on the national training pool. He added that Rota and Tinian players who will be chosen for the national team must also stay on Saipan for a whole month.

“They need to train here. They need to practice with the entire team. We can’t have the team training here and they are there practicing.”

Meanwhile, Rangamar said Northern Marianas Sports Association is encouraging off-island CNMI athletes to join the tryouts, not only for basketball but also for other sports under this year’s Micro Games’ calendar.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez has been covering local and international sports events for more than 15 years. His sports writing career started when he joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, when he was in college.

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