Men’s Basketball and Judo highlight top Team Guam performances in 2019 Pacific Games

21 July 2019 – XVI Pacific Games, Apia, Samoa

Men’s 5×5 Basketball team defended their gold medal from the 2015 edition of the Pacific Games with a dominant performance on their way to being named the Team of the Games.  The team consisting of William Belger III, Eduardo Calvo, JP Cruz, Jonathan Galloway, Daren Hechanova, Earvin Jose, Simon Gabriel, William Stinnett III, Mekeli Wesley, Russel Wesley and Tai Wesley drove past their opponents in the round robin matches before defeating Tahiti in the championship game for the Gold medal. 

Men’s Basketball 3×3 staged the biggest comeback of the inaugural event via a two-point conversion in extra time by Ben Borja.  Trailing by five points with three minutes remaining against Team Fiji, who beat Team Guam in the round robin match, Borja along with team mates Seve Susuico, Michael Sakazaki and Andrew “AJ” Carlos, were able to keep the Fijians at bay and tied the game at 18 after regulation play.  The tough defense of Team Guam continued in the early minutes of extra time as Fiji was unable to score on consecutive attempts.  After a rebound by Susuico, Borja took the ball behind the screen of Sakazaki and drained the two-point attempt to seal the victory and the first-ever gold medal of the 3×3 event in the Pacific Games.

Joshter Andrew, Team Guam Judoka, brought Guam’s first gold medal of the Games as he overwhelmed all his opponents in the <81kg division.  Andrew showcased his athleticism, knowledge and prowess gained through his training in Japan.

Team Guam Taekwondo delivered three silver and two bronze medals as Alexander Allen, Tierra Chargualaf and Amber Toves beat their New Zealand counterparts in the semi-final rounds, but eventually fell to their Australian opponents in the finals.  Leon Ho and Joseph Ho completed the medal haul that featured all Team Guam competitors on the medal podium.  The siblings bowed out to their Australian opponents in the quarterfinal round.

Team Guam Weightlifting doubled their total medal outputs from the previous combined games into the 2019 edition.  Led by Jacinta Sumagaysay’s triple silver haul, (clean and jerk, snatch and combined total), the team brought home a total of seven medals:  5 silver and 2 bronze.  Dayamaya Calma clinched 2 silver (clean and jerk and combined total) and a bronze (snatch), while sister Dayalani Calma claimed Guam’s first medal of the games, a bronze in the snatch.

Athletics added a silver and two bronze medals to the medal count for Team Guam as Genina Criss used the wading stretch to outpace the remaining athletes and take silver in the 1500m race.  Alison Bowman took third in the 3000m steeplechase for a bronze and Derek Mandell returned to competition with a bronze medal in the half marathon to end the athletics events.  During the women’s 4x100m race, the team consisting of Regine Tugade, Richelle Tugade, Madison Packbier and Emma Sheedy broke the Guam national record set 20 years ago.

Benjamin Schulte of Team Guam Swimming settled for a silver medal in the 50m butterfly discipline that saved the swimming group’s medal streak in the Pacific Games.

Women’s Basketball missed out on a bronze medal as they fell victim to host Samoa and questionable calls in the final minutes of the match that saw our ladies lose by a bucket.  This was the best performance of the women’s program in the last twenty years as they opened with a 36-point win against a team that they have never beaten in the past, Papua New Guinea. 

Men’s Va’a team finished fourth place in the 1500m Outrigger Canoe contest, an event they previously won bronze in Papua New Guinea.  Overall both paddling teams performed well against the more experienced and established teams from Tahiti, New Caledonia and the south pacific.

Men’s Beach Volleyball went 1-1 in pool play before bowing out of the competition against Papua New Guinea in straight sets in the elimination round finishing in 9th of 13.

Team Guam Tennis finished in the middle of the pack in the team event with a 2-2 record.  Camden Camacho led the charge in the singles event finishing in 6th place followed by Daniel Llarenas, Derek Okuhama and Mason Caldwell.

Team Guam Golf had a good showing on the links against the prowess of Fiji, Tahiti and New Caledonia.  Robert Manalo led the team in the singles event.

Team Guam aquathlon athlete Kristina Woesner finished 8th of 14 while triathlete Craig Weymouth finished the swim, bike, run course in 11th of 18.

Men and Women’s Volleyball served identical 2-3 records during the event.  Men’s team finished in 9th place while the women’s settled for 6th in their respective divisions.

The final tally of 3 gold, 10 silver and 6 bronze placed Guam in 14th of 24 countries/jurisdiction of the 2019 Pacific Games.

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