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    Monday, October 14, 2019-8:07:48A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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No medals for Cuki and team

CUKI Alvarez and the rest of the Trench Tech Purebred Saipan TAC Team members’ journey in the Asian International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Jiu-Jitsu Championships in Asakusa, Japan ended without a medal.

“Team CNMI put up valiant fights in all our divisions,” said Trench Tech founder Cuki Alvarez. Shane “Pikaboo” Alvarez, Vince “The Clinch” Masga and Paulo “The Sang” Sangalang won their first matches in their respective divisions to reach the semifinals, but they lost in their second matches.

Members of the Trench Tech Purebred Saipan TAC Team pose with the CNMI flag and the banner of the Asian International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Jiu-Jitsu Championships held in Asakusa, Japan.  Contributed photoMembers of the Trench Tech Purebred Saipan TAC Team pose with the CNMI flag and the banner of the Asian International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Jiu-Jitsu Championships held in Asakusa, Japan. Contributed photo

As for the only girl on the team, first-timer Lo Itibus — she did great, but was forced to tap out via arm bar at three and a half minutes into her match against a more experienced opponent who was a 3-striped white belt, Alvarez said. A stripe signifies improvement and advancement and experience in overall skill set in BJJ. Itibus’ opponent already had three-stripes to her belt and is basically on the verge of being promoted to a blue belt.

Mark “The Dark” Nuiqu, also did well in his first match but lost by an advantage (a score less than a point) because his opponent apparently had a slightly better position.

Alvarez, who was the only athlete to bring a silver medal back home last year, was also eliminated early, losing to his opponent in his first match. “I competed in the Masters 4 Black Belt division and lost…by a penalty.” said Alvarez. “A penalty is given when the referee feels you are not trying to improve your position during a lock down or trap. I couldn’t escape my opponent’s closed guard so I was given a penalty for that. We will have pics and vids available soon.”

He added, “We all learned from this amazing experience and we will definitely bring back what we have learned to our next training camp and improve from there. We hope to inspire more athletes from our beloved CNMI to join our BJJ program and travel with us to future competitions like the Asian Open.”

Alvarez and the team would like to thank their sponsors: IT&E, Saipan Crewboats, Office of Senate Vice President Jude Hofschneider, the Marianas Visitors Authority, FISG, Skydive Saipan, Black Wood, Coach Jose Mafnas Jr., Capt. John Salas and Coach Ken Tanzawa. “Additional thanks to Saipan Apparel for the team shirts, Hybrid Shop for the Saipan flag and patches and to all our supporters of their successful cookie fundraiser!”