Andersen wins Guam crown
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam — MVP Cliff Claybrooks scored 23 points and the host Andersen Bombers rallied from a six-point first-quarter deficit to down Big Navy 72-66 Sunday in the second of two final games in the Guam Pacific Regional Basketball Tournament. Andersen won the first game 76-69.
The tournament, originally called the March Madness Invitational and scheduled for March, was postponed a month after having been canceled altogether last year due to operational commitments at Andersen.
“We’re happy just to get the tournament back off the ground,” said Gerrard Barnes, Bombers coach and tournament organizer. “That’s a big thing. We’ve been missing a tournament in March and April because of mission requirements. We’re glad to get it back.”
Since the tournament’s inception in 1993, it’s been held at the Coral Reef Sports and Fitness Center, a small facility tucked into a combined 36th Services and exchange mall in the heart of this base on the island’s northern tip.
Barnes plans to use the event as the grand opening of a $17 million fitness center now being built, which he said is to have two side-by-side NBA-style basketball courts, a health and wellness center, weight and treadmill rooms, “everything you can think of.”
As for winning this tournament, the Bombers “had to come back the hard way,” Barnes said, after losing their second game of the double-elimination playoffs. Making things worse was losing point guard Marvin Harris to a severely sprained right ankle.
“We showed a lot of fortitude and grit, especially when we lost one of our best players,” Barnes said of Harris, who had been averaging 25 points per game. “That affected our game but we had people who stepped in to give us his points and defense.”