Guam Secures a Spot at the Pacific Games 2023
MANGILAO (Guam) – Guam is the FIBA Women’s Micronesian Cup Champions 2022 and will be heading to the Solomon Islands Pacific Games 2023.
The home crowd piled in, and they were not disappointed with the action as Guam took care of business, winning gold 70-37. The Won sisters from Northern Mariana Islands (NMI) did their best to lift the team, scoring 22 points and 18 rebounds between them, but it was not enough as Guam muscled their way to top spot on the podium.
Guam Centre, Mia San Nicolas, came away with another double-double 20 points and 13 rebounds, and finished the tournament in similar fashion to the way she started, with pure dominance.
“It was a really competitive game, everyone worked hard, did their jobs and we did what we need to do be successful and win the gold medal,” San Nicolas said. “We couldn’t look ahead as we prepared for this game, we had to lock in, defend their best players, especially E’Anna (Won) and Ky’Sonna (Won), they are respectable players and are great competitors.”
San Nicolas will now prepare to go back to college in the United States where she plays with the Geneva Golden Tornadoes, but credits her FIBA Micronesian Cup performance to her Guam teammates. “I feel like my team deserves all the credit because they put me in a position to be successful and I wouldn’t be able to achieve without them. Basketball is a team sport, so we want to be successful together.”
Earlier in the day, Palau was too strong for the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), taking home the Bronze Medal, 79-35. After a slow scoring start to the game, Palau found their rhythm to earn a spot on the FIBA Women’s Micronesian Cup Podium. Palau Captain, Sweety Kalbesang top scored with 20 points, followed by fellow Palauan, Kristen Sugiyama who finished on 18.
“Obviously our goal was to win the gold medal, but as long as we are not going home empty handed, the girls are happy,” Kalbesang said. “Most of the girls in our team are playing at a national level for the first time, so this has been a great opportunity for them to experience high-level competition.”
The FIBA Micronesian Cup 2022 featured national teams from across Micronesia, with 16 games played across four days from June 8 to 11 in Mangilao, Guam. The top team, Guam, has now qualified for the Solomon Islands Pacific Games 2023.