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BANMI Budweiser Cup set for Feb. 9 - Jan 26, 2004

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Basketball Association of the Northern Mariana Islands public information officer Abner Venus announced last Thursday that the start of the upcoming Budweiser Cup would finally take place this February 9.
According to Venus, all is set for the season to get underway except for the installation of a new scoreboard at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. The new board comes courtesy of Microl Corporation.
"We're currently working on that," he said. "Jojo [Dadivas] of Mobil and I pushed very hard for us to get that scoreboard, and it is now being installed at the Ada Gym."
Venus said that the new scoreboard will serve as a big plus for all basketball games that will be played at the Ada Gym.
"The scoreboard that we've been using is already old. Some of the bulbs are out and numbers aren't clearly shown. So with this new scoreboard, every one will have an easier time keeping track of the score, game clock, fouls, and more.
Venus also stated that action in the thrilling Bud Cup is only being held up because of the scoreboard and several payments by teams interested in competing.
"I heard rumors that the reason why this league isn't up and going is because of lack of referees. That rumor is totally false. We have qualified local referees who do a good job on the court. There's Gabriel [White], Greg [Iginoef], Julie [Tokyo], Mike [White], and several others who are capable of getting the job done. I'm also certified and if I'm needed to call a game, I'll run with the guys and do it," he said.
The Bud Cup was originally set to take place last year but was pushed back to give teams a chance to come up with the required entrance fee. It was again pushed back in December to give way to the holiday season.


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