SBL to select players for Micro Games-bound team next week


A CNMI player pitches to Pohnpei during their elimination round match in the 2014 Micronesian Games in Pohnpei. (The Kaselehlie Press)

The Saipan Baseball League will meet on April 30 to select the members of the CNMI national baseball team that will be competing in the 9th Micronesian Games set from July 15 to 27 in Yap.

The meeting will be held at 5:30pm at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium’s conference room, as no SBL game will be played that night.

SBL coordinator Tony Rogolifoi said managers and coaches would help him with the deliberation to pick the 22 members of the squad that would try to regain the gold medal the CNMI last won in the 2006 when Saipan hosted the Micro Games. The Commonwealth settled for back-to-back silver medals in the 2010 edition in Palau and four years ago in Pohnpei.

The statistics of the first round of the 2018 SBL season will be used as one of the bases for selecting the players for the Micro Games-bound team. Rogolifoi, in an earlier interview with the Saipan Tribune, said that they would also look into how each player reacts and handles certain offensive and defensive situations during games in choosing the members of the squad.

“What they do on the field and how they perform in other tight situations would also be a factor,” he said.

The selection will be made before the month ends, as SBL is pressed to beat the May 1 deadline imposed by the Northern Marianas Sports Association for all federations that would compete in the Micro Games.

NMSA is hoping to have the names and credentials—passport-size photos and copies of the business page of their passports—of all CNMI athletes going to Yap for accreditation purposes. NMSA president Michael White said that athletes who previously competed and were accredited in past Micro Games are no longer required to submit their passport copies and photos.

Meanwhile, Rogolifoi said there will also be an alternate pool of prospective players who will be on standby in case members of the original selection are dropped from the team.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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