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Old 03-02-2010, 01:30 PM   #12
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US pros try Saipan’s Rocball

Wednesday, 03 March 2010 00:00 By Emmanuel T. Erediano - Reporter

professional players fed their curiosity on Saipan’s own sport—Rocball—by giving it a try with the local players over the weekend at the Marianas High School Gym.

During a question-and-answer session with students of MHS the day after they arrived last week, Jennifer Snyder admitted they are curious about the Rocball, which according to Jim Feger, is Saipan’s original sports.

The volleyball professional players, after making this year’s Marianas Cup another successful and explosive sports event in the Pacific, did not let go of the chance to try the Rocball.

Paul Baxter and Andrew Fuller came to the Rocball court and joined the local players for a Rocball game, Feger said.

Fuller was with John Nekaifes, Ben Lisua, Mariano Lisus, and Willy Aguilar of the Soul Rebels, while Baxter played with Bulls Eye’s J.R. Gechig, Jordan Mariano, Gabriel White, and Joemil Lisua.

According to Feger, Baxter and Fuller got the “on-the-job training in Saipan’s own sport and they couldn’t have chosen a better group of mentors to learn how to play Rocball.

In fact, Feger said the two U.S pros learned well enough to come in first and second in the heavy hitting category. Baxter scored two aces, one xunk, and four kees to earn heavy hitter of the game.

On the other hand, Lisua and Fuller of the Soul Rebels tied for second place in heavy hitting. Ben scored two aces, one jam, two kees, and a goal. Fuller scored three aces, and two goals giving each player 12 heavy points apiece. In all, there were nine aces, two xunks, one jam, 13 kees, and three goals scored in the game.

The Soul Rebels dominated the first three sets winning each set 15 to 12, 19 to 15, and 16 to 11. But, as the volleyball pros learned, this is not volleyball. Rocball games are won by the team that outscores their opponents in game points and wins the fourth set.

At the end of the fourth set, the Soul Rebels were leading 50 to 38. All the Soul Rebels had to do to win the game and juice-out was to win the fourth set.

The Bulls Eyes would have had to win the fourth set by 13 points to juice-out and win. They won the fourth set 15 to 6. They won the set but lacked the game points to win the game. At the end of the fourth set, it was the Soul Rebels 56 and the Bulls Eyes 53.

A team can’t win a Rocball game in a losing set regardless of whether they outscored their opponents in game points. However, by winning the fourth set, the Bull Eyes forced the game into overtime: Overtime sets are won with ten points or a goal, whichever comes first.

The Soul Rebels outscore the Bull Eyes in four sets but lost the fourth set. The Bull Eyes won the fourth set but scored less game points than the Soul Rebels.

In order to win the game in overtime, the Soul Rebels only needed to win one set. The Bulleyes needed to win two overtime sets to win the game.
And, the Bulls Eyes were at set point in the first set, but lost the serve, got xunked, which dropped their score to 8 points, and lost the game in first overtime set 10 to 8. In the post game conversations, Paul Baxter threw down the gauntlet, he wants to come back to Saipan for a shot at the title. And, the world’s best Rocball players, will be here waiting for him.
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