Guam's lady hoopsters bring speed, experience to Micro Games - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam's lady hoopsters bring speed, experience to Micro Games

Posted: Jul 05, 2018 1:11 PM Updated:

Our women's national basketball team leaves island July 14th with competition scheduled to start July 16th in Yap. Guam assembled a squad built on speed and experience. Team Guam defeated the Marshall Islands last Micro Games for the Gold medal by over 40-plus points.

Eddie Pelkey, Head Coach, said, :I thought they were the best team out there other than us obviously. It was pretty competitive for about maybe a half and then we made some adjustments at halftime and we were able to separate ourselves like the rest of our other games and win pretty handedly. We're pretty confident that we are going to go out there and probably do the same thing we did 4 years ago."

Destiny Castro one of the returnees from the last Micro Games says playing at Chaminade University in Hawaii has helped her confidence in shooting the basketball. Her strength and conditioning has also increased but it's the physicality of the Games that she is most prepared for.

Castro said, "So yeah the Micro Games are probably the most physical games I've been to. Physically we have to be ready for it but not scared of it and I think our team is not going to be scared of it of course but we are just going to be ready to let our bodies take it and just be able to recover and get ready for the next game."

Team Guam will rely on their speed with recent high school graduates Chloe Miranda, Elysia Perez and Rosita Duenas pushing the tempo. Mia San Nicoals the only high school player on the team will help add presence in the middle for Guam.

Pelkey added, "This team doesn't have too many holes. It's one of the better teams I think that we have assembled I a while. We definitely have a lot of speed but as I mentioned before it's not only speed but skill with speed. Being able to handle the ball and make good quick decisions. The offensive system I've implemented is very loose and open so it allows them to keep their individuality as skillful players and make decisions that are in the best interest of the team."

Destiny Castro, Joylyn Pangelinan and Kali Benavente bring collegiate experience to the team. Destiny, Kali and teammate Kristene Villena return to help defend their 2014 gold medal. Other veterans on the squad include team captain Derrin Santos Stinnett and Charisse Bolabola who represented Guam at the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.

Benavente said, "This year's games I feel like it's more important than last year's so I feel since it's qualifiers for SPG I feel like everybody is going to try and bring their best. We always have a target on our backs so we can't just expect to go there and win a gold medal when teams are going to come at us. We got to play our best every game."

Coach Pelkey caught a little off guard after finding out the Micronesian Games Council decided to go with the FIBA ruling that the games will be used as a qualifier to get into the Pacific Games next year. The decision was made 2 months before the start of the Micro Games.

Eddie Pelkey/Head Coach: I think that's a little unfair to us but at the same token it is what it is. It's the rules we have been given and that's what we have to play by and I am a little frustrated by it but I highly intend in taking my frustrations out on the teams when we play them in Yap.

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