Shorthanded Rebels defeat Wesmen 78-33
Taylor Allen, BEAT REPORTER
The Red River Rebels women’s basketball team is 3-3 despite not having more than six players in a game all season.
The team finished the first half of the season with only five healthy players after losing rookie Janelle Pierre-Foster to injury.
“Our assistant coach and I have to play in practice,” says Rebels head coach Jaenas Pangilinan. “It’s really hard. I’m 47 and it’s hard on my knees.”
The team had to forfeit a game on November 4 against Canadian Mennonite University because they didn’t have enough players.
Pangilinan, who has coached RRC to five consecutive MCAC championships, says it’s easy for the players to lose focus and not listen to him when they know they can’t be subbed out of the game. But Pangilinan won’t have that problem in the second half of the season. He says the team is adding six strong players to the roster next semester.
“When our girls know they’re not coming out of the game, they know it’s on their terms,” says Pangilinan. “But in the second half of the season, I will have my power back.”
The short-handed Rebels defeated The University of Winnipeg Wesmen 78-33 on December 3.
“That was the first time we shot over 50 per cent,” says Pangilinan. “On average, a really good team in the MCAC shoots around 36 per cent. And that’s guys and girls.”
Rebels second-year point guard Zera Lynn Panesa had 24 points, 5 rebounds and 6 steals.
Panesa, who leads the team in 3-pointers, says shooting was not a strength of hers when she played at Sisler High School.
“I set a goal for myself and I really worked hard these past couple summers to improve my shooting,” she says.
Panesa says she has gotten used to playing the entire game and enjoys it, but knows it’s important to pace herself and avoid injuries.
“It’s a big challenge,” says Panesa. “We run a lot in practice to prepare.”
The Rebels forced the Wesmen to shoot 32 per cent from the field and commit 36 turnovers.
“To see five girls play 40 minutes and win by that margin is encouraging,” says Pangilinan.
The Rebels season will continue on January 14, 2017 when they visit Providence University College to take on the Pilots.