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Basketball overview in the Marshall Islands - May 11, 2005

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Our new Marshall Islands section has just opened today, extending our coverage on the Oceania region. For those who don't know anything about this small country, we are posting an overview of the country and of the state of basketball there.


Country background:
The Republic of Marshall Islands is made of  two archipelagic island chains of 30 atolls and 1,152 islands in the North Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia. The country attained independence in 1986 after almost 40 years under US administration. There are approximately 59,000 person living in the Marshall Islands, the capital city is Majuro. The population is one of the youngest in the world with a median age of almost 20-year.


International Games:
The marshalleses are living on several islands so it's pretty hard to keep a solid core of players for the National Team. Marshall Islands hasn't played in many FIBA Oceania tournament yet. The men National Team played the Oceania Tournament in Fiji in 1985 and clinched the 7th spot (from 9 teams), the team recorded its two first-ever international wins, both over the Northern Marianas Islands.  They would wait for 14 years to play another tournament, playing the 1999 South Pacific Games in Guam. The team won three of its seven games and was ranked 11th in this tournament (14 teams). That was the last FIBA Oceania Tournament for the Marshall Islands, but they will field a men team at the upcoming South Pacific Mini-Games in Palau this summer. Only a men team, the women National squad has never played in a major tournament yet.
The women has only played in the 2002 Micronesian Games and lost in the Gold medal game 60-75 to Palau after a solid pool phase (3-1), they didn't play in the last 2004 Micronesian Games.
The men won the Bronze medal in 2002 thanks to a 102-80 win over Pohnpei, they remainded undefeated in the Micronesian Games 2004 until the Gold medal game. Guam won the game 90-69 and the Gold. But the Marshall Island team was great with guard Gabriel Lait who was voted to the All-Tournament team, forwards Robert Pinho and Wayne Anjain, centers Damien Capelle and Mark Stege and guard Jonathan Nathan.


Local Competitions:
There isn't a regular major league in the Marshall Islands but several local tournament throughout the season, the main one is the Ralik-Ratak Shootout. In 2003, the Shootout featured 14 teams which represented their home island, the tournament is played for two weeks in September. More than 1500 people were in the stands when Kwajalein won the final game 71-69 over Arno.


Men National Team:
starting five:
Damien Capelle (C)
Robert Pinho (F)
Wayne Anjain (F)
Jonathan Nathan (G)
Gabriel Lait (G)
Mark Stege (C)
Faiga Tagoilelagi
Justin Dohrman
Nicholas Guavis
Floyd Corder Jr
Rixey Wase
Mouj Lewi
Sherwood Tibon


Men NT International records:
Major Events:
1999 - South Pacific Games (in Guam): 11th / 3-4 record
1985 - Oceania Tournament (in Fiji): 7th / 2-3 record
Local Events:
2004 - Micronesian Games: Silver Medal (lost to Guam in final) / 4-1 record
2002 - Micronesian Games: Bronze Medal (won over Pohnpei for the medal) /3-2 record


Women National Team:
Ana Rounds
Esra Rubon
Shari Shoniber
Candice Guavis
Georgina John
Stacy Anmontha
Carmelita Joram
Krystal Mino
Suzanne Mayo
Emma Kabua
Neri Wase
Trisha wase


Women NT International records:
Major Events:
Local Events:
2002 - Micronesian Games: Silver med  

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