Rota eyed to host Marianas Bowl


Guam and Knights players are in formation getting ready for the former’s first down during the second quarter of the high school division game in the 3rd Marianas Friendship Bowl held last Saturday at the CPA Airport Field. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

With the 3rd Marianas Friendship Bowl now in the books, organizers of the annual event has started planning the next competition and is eying Rota as the venue for 2018.

“We are hoping to have the games in a neutral ground,” said Guam’s Joey Guerrero, who coordinated last Saturday’s event held at the CPA Airport Field with Commonwealth Football League’s John Blanco and other CFL officials.

“We want to continue the sportsmanship, camaraderie, and competition between Guam and CNMI players. We aim to continue providing our players exposure in the sport and help them improve by allowing them to play as many games as they can, especially the new players from Saipan,” Guerrero added.

The Island Eagles head coach also said it will be great to have Rota residents watch football games and holding matches there would be easier if they could find generous sponsors.

“The previous matches in the Marianas Bowl will not be made possible without our sponsors. I hope we could have more sponsors so we can bring the games on Rota,” Guerrero said.

Guam brought two teams to Saipan for the third edition of the annual event with both squads beating the Knights. Guam crushed the Knights in the matua (12 to 14 age group) division match, 44-0, while the visitors’ high school crew also eased past the Knights, 36-6. Guam’s selection squads were made up of hand-picked players, while the Knights had the core of Mt. Carmel School team and some players from other schools.

Guam’s high school selection drew touchdowns from Gabriel Stanley (two), Alfredo Blas, Isaiah Macias, and Tyler Pangelinan to beat the Knights, whose lone TD came from Anthony Quitugua.

Despite the loss, the Knights were thankful for the opportunity to play against Guam in the high school division for the first time.

“The high school team shows a lot of promise. Head coach Vaeotootoo Failauga Jr. and coach Joe Ocampo got a great group of kids to work with. I am confident that the team will learn from this loss and improve its chances for a stronger performance next time around,” Blanco said.

The CFL official added both teams will continue training and are excited to battle Guam again.

“Hopefully, we could get the matua season up and running. Guam is already making plans for the next event so the kids are looking forward to that as well,” Blanco said.

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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