CNMI Men's National Basketball Team coach Rufino Aguon made his first cut last Jan. 26, inviting back 16 players for his tryouts and making room for a couple of more additions for the squad that will compete in the 2006 Micronesian Games here on Saipan. source: Mark Rabago for SaipanTribune. Aguon gave clearance to continue working out with the team to 9 former national team member and 7 up-and-coming players.
He said he also needed to tweak his selection process a little bit, "since there are a good number of guys showing up and will fight for positions."
He also said that 6'4" former NCAA Division II player Richard "Doc" Brostrom, the director of Public Health, has also made his intention to join the tryouts. Aguon also said that former wards J.C. Kim and Oscar Ada have also made overtures of wanting to be part of the team. Kim is around 6'3" with pivot skills and would be a big boost to the CNMI's frontline, while Ada has reportedly sprouted to 6'7" and can leap out of the gym. Kim and Ada are off-island in Oregon and Hawaii, respectively, pursuing their college degrees.
"They [Kim, and Ada] have been given the same workout program, so if they do it then they have a good chance. They will be tested when they arrive first week of May," he said.
Aguon also said earlier that former Rotary standout Chris Idip, an athletic guard with above-average shooting skills, may also tryout for the team. He is currently serving in the U.S. Marines. As far as the holdovers go, Aguon said the 16 have been through a lot but it is the price they have to pay to prepare for the Games.
Aguon said he is happy with the turnout for the tryouts and is looking forward to working more with the holdovers and eventually molding a team from the final 15 in preparation for the big dance this summer.
"Most of the players trying out have good skills, so I am happy about that. So with this, our major work will be on conditioning and team plays and then gelling as a team before the Micro Games. Next cut will be the end of this Month," he said.
CNMI Men National Team - extended squad:
Oscar AdaChris Idip