(NMIBF) — The NMI National Team Program Women’s Squad has completed its three friendlies in Guam and learned many lessons from those matches that would help better prepare the squad for the FIBA Micronesian Cup.
The pool closed out the NMI Friendship Classic hosted by the University of Guam Athletics with a 58-28 victory over the UOG Lady Tritons on Saturday. The victory came after the group lost their opening two friendlies, losing to Fuetsa on Thursday 70-82 and to Andersen Air Base Lady Bombers on Friday 24-75.
“This friendly tournament was a great learning experience for all of us and it was so exciting to see our team compete against strong teams in a very organized environment. Each match had a higher level of physicality, however, throughout the matches our team showed great attitude, character and goodwill, said Women’s National Team Coach Cathy Attao-Toves NMI.
“There are a lot of things that we have learned and that we will work on until June (FIBA Micronesian Cup). We are able to assess our players a little further and we will work on individual development plans, which include a higher level of fitness,” she added.
The hen’s stamina was tested from the first game of the series, as their duel against Fuetsa was extended into two extra periods where the match lasted 50 minutes – instead of the usual tiff of 40 minutes. Destiny Pangelinan, one of the team’s offensive threats, played the entire game and finished with a team-best 20 points. Angel Roligat and Mikky Kautz were down for over 40 minutes and combined for 19 scorers.
Less than 24 hours after the difficult match against Fuetsa, the NMI players returned to UOG Calvo Field House and embarked on a very physical match against the Lady Bombers.
“This match was much more physical and they (the Lady Bombers) were much more experienced. The physical nature of the game caught some players off guard, but they persevered. It was great for our post players to play against strong post opponents and we did a lot better on our rebounds. Our outside shots weren’t falling, so we had to drive and put the ball inside,” Attao-Toves said.
For their last game and despite back-to-back losses, the NMI coach said their players remained focused and positive.
“We had a game plan and they executed it. We wanted to run attacking plays and improve our scoring ability. This game helped us with that,” Attao-Toves said.
Pangelinan scored 13 points in the win, while Roligat added 11 and four other players scored at least 6 points each.
After finishing friendly matches in Guam, the group organized under the Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Federation national program returned to Saipan last Sunday morning and will return to training this week to work more on their team and their individual skills.
“Now that we have an overview of our competition and where we are, and with this experience we are back to the drawing board. We will review the games in Guam and get back to work,” the coach said. of the NMI.