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Video update: Warriors win again

The Hawaii basketball team overcame the odds – and a bunch of other obstacles – in an 89-70 victory over the Shenyang Panpan Dinosaurs on Monday night (China time).

The Warriors faced an arduous – almost ridiculous – travel schedule, and a hostile road environment, and also had several players suffering stomach ailments. Yet, they led from start to finish against the professional team.

“I told them in the locker room that for this early in the year, I couldn’t be more proud of a team,” Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold said. “They played their hearts out tonight. They were tired, we took a three-hour flight and a three-hour bus ride and half the team was sick. And a very hostile environment. And they just kept playing and playing and playing, and did some very good things.”

The exhibition game was played before a crowd of around 3,000 at Heishan, China. The Warriors are now 2-2 on the Asia tour, having won their last two games.

Freshman point guard Shaquille Stokes put on another dazzling display, finishing with a game-high 29 points, including five 3-pointers.

“I feel good coming in today – legs were a little under me from the flight, but we just wanted to come out and execute our stuff,” Stokes said. “Just come out here and play hard in front of the fans.”

Davis Rozitis, who was battling food poisoning prior to the game, added 17 points, and Trevor Wiseman scored 13.

“I thought I was going to faint in the middle of the game,” Rozitis said. “I still feel sick, but once the game time starts, the adrenaline rushes in and you forget about that kind of stuff.”

The Warriors won another game on Sunday night, then departed the city of Qingdao on Monday morning. After a two-hour flight and a three-hour bus ride, the team had about two hours of rest at a nearby motel before heading to the game.

The motel stop, though, was more like two hours of unrest as the beds and showers were too small for the players.

“It’s just pride,” Rozitis said. “Nobody expected us to win. After a three-hour plane flight, two-hour bus ride, just straight tired from yesterday’s game… to beat them by 20, it was just about pride.”

There was also national pride on the line, as the scoreboard listed Hawaii as “USA” and Shenyang as “China.” The arena announcer also introduced the Warriors as USA.

“We said okay, were playing for more than just Hawaii tonight,” Arnold said.

The arena was already filled to its capacity when the Warriors walked in around an hour before tip-off.

Hawaii raced to a 14-3 lead to open the game and never looked back.

Other Warriors who scored were Joston Thomas with 10, Zane Johnson with eight, Bobby Miles with five, Brandon Jawato with three, and Hauns Brereton and Pi’i Minns with two each.

There was an anxious moment in the third quarter, when the teams exchanged pushes and shoves after a hard foul. Players and coaches from both benches came onto the court, although no punches appeared to be thrown.

“I went out on the floor and got caught by a push, and then I saw Zane and a couple other guys rushing in and then it was on,” Arnold said. “No punches were thrown, that I know of. It was almost an international incident, but we avoided that. Cooler heads did prevail. It was kind of fun to see the guys sticking up for each other and sticking up for their coach as well. We kind of explained that next time it happens, let’s stay on the bench.”

The Warriors are scheduled to play the same Shenyang team again on Tuesday night.

10 Comments

  1. after a good pre-game speech i thought they would show at least some emotion especially with a packed house.

  2. Awesome video yet again. Can you please ask Coach Arnold if Gerry Blakes will be enrolled come Monday? Anxious here to find out.

  3. Great videos. Looking at the highlights, it looks like UH wanted this game real bad. That’s the way to play for your school and country. Good job! Go Warriors!

  4. This team has a chance to be real special.

  5. Seems like Stokes is the real deal and Miles has really improved.

  6. if we can handle these road trips, we can handle the wac ones. Go Warriors! Go Hawaii! Go USA!

  7. Hard to read too much into these short glimpses of play against teams we don’t know anything about, but Shaq Stokes looks to be the real deal — always looking to push, can get to the hoop, has a nice 3-point stroke, and is sets teammates up with a lot of great looks. And this is all before he has even officially started his freshmen year …

  8. Gerry Blakes is a freshman that we could really use in our program starting this semester, the problem or delays are now in the hands of the Admissions Office at UH. The kid is a qualifier and should be given the opportunity to attend UH Manoa, many other borderline students are given a chance at attending Manoa, no reason why Gerry Blakes should also be given a shot to attend our university and hopefully get a degree and better his life.

  9. jjay…blakes’ admittance is a timing thing. the questions remain will he be able to get his docs to the admissions office in time to gain acceptance. transcripts, sat test scores, etc. needed to be in that office before anyone takes a look.

    having the coaches in asia doesn’t help either, since, no one can really help facilitate the effort. hopefully, someone in the athletic director’s office is fast tracking his enrollment.

    i believe that the ncaa paperwork should normally be routine,but, who knows there could be a ton late qualifiers trying to get in.

    i remain optimistic as long as his end has been taken cared of.

  10. One of the coaches should get back to hawaii and take care of this matter, Blakes is important.

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