GBA Season One Scores Big

August 22, 2016

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Words by Andrew Roberto

Images courtesy of the GBA


The debut season of the Guam Basketball Association (GBA) gathered Guam’s top ballers for high stakes and exciting play. In a first for Guam, entire games were broadcast live for the island to see, thanks to KUAM News. After the 4-week regular season and single elimination playoffs plus an all-star game, GBA has crowned its first ever champion, the Sushi Rockets. To celebrate GBA’s highly successful maiden season, UNO spoke to an all-star list of coaches and players to get the final score on the GBA Season One play.


What does GBA do for Guam basketball’s development?

The GBA is a really great step for Guam basketball. It provides an opportunity for a lot of people, especially the younger guys, to go up against seasoned veterans. It also gives guys like myself an opportunity. Before this I was the assistant coach for JFK—Go Islanders!—and it was fun for me to work with everyone.

—Coach Josh Wilson, Team Justice


This is a stepping-stone for basketball. Our youth is up and coming; they can be out here, and that’s what we want to promote. I think that GBA is not only good for Guam basketball, but also for the community in general.

— Head Coach Ryan Camacho, Team 4Stars


GBA put a great league together in terms of the exposure the players got, as well as the players facing the highest level of competition Guam has had in a long time. Next season we look to continue to play at the highest level and try to reach the championship again.

—Head Coach Jino Han, Team Sushi Rockets


How did you feel about playing in the newly renovated UOG Calvo Field House?

The venue makes a real big difference. UOG is very nice—this is definitely an international venue—that, along with the administration. It makes GBA well worth it.

—Head Coach John Pangelinan, Team MVP


Which game pushed you to your limit?

Every game is a tough game, in my opinion. You can’t take any team for granted in this league.

—Star Player JP Cruz, Team MVP


It isn’t a single game. Every game is a tough game. We come out with 110%, you know? So I think every game was a tough game for us. This playoff game was the best game because I think we came together defensively.

—Star Player Max Kipwe, Team 4Stars


Can you sum up your reaction to GBA’s first season?

We are proud of what we’ve achieved this season, as we were able to come up with a competitive group that hasn't played together before. We want to finish strong and build momentum for the next GBA season.”

—Head Coach EJ Calvo, Team Guam Auto Spot Phoenix


It was an exciting season. This was a brand new league, and everyone came out hard. We [4Stars] had a rocky start, but hopefully we pull out better in the next round.

—Star Player Max Kipwe, Team 4Stars


I thought it was great. One of the best tournaments I’ve been in especially because of the live news coverage. It was a good look for everybody.

—Derrick Royster, Team Justice


The GBA first season set the bar for high-intensity level basketball on the island. The GBA is a really good thing for Guam.

—Star Player Earvin Jose, Team Sushi Rockets


What is UOG going to do to prepare for its future as a team?

“As we grow, to implement other leagues and to play with other universities. We’re also going to grow as a team and try to recruit more high school kids to play here at the university.”

—Head Coach Tony Thompson, Team UOG Tritons



MVP unfortunately didn’t make it to the championship. What direction are you taking the team next season?

I think we’ll be a little bit more prepared. We look forward to the second season. We’ve got a good core now, and I think we can work with it. What we need to do is learn to work with the people we have and what they bring to the team. Everybody has their strengths, but it’s about [team] familiarization.

—Head Coach John Pangelinan, Team MVP


Follow the Guam Basketball Association on Facebook or Instagram "@GuamBasketballAssociation"

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