Cal Poly Pomona basketball team headed to Taiwan

Quentin Taylor

The Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball team won’t be waiting until October to crank it up for the coming season like normal.

The Broncos are going to have to be prepared much earlier as they have been selected to play in an international event in Taiwan next month.

The squad, coached by Greg Kamansky, will be taking part in a goodwill event called the Buddha Light International Association Cup tournament, to be held Aug. 16-21.

“It will be a great experience for our players, not just from a basketball standpoint but a cultural standpoint as well,” Kamansky said. “This isn’t something you get to do often so we are grateful for the opportunity.”

 

The tournament will feature eight men’s teams and eight women’s teams, with representation from the USA, France, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Korea, the Philippines, and People’s Republic of China. Cal Poly Pomona will play at least four games at the Kaohsiung Arena in Taiwan.

The BLIA Cup is a sport cultural exchange organized by the Fo Guang Shan Monastery, intended to promote the sport of basketball among universities and to provide student-athletes with the experience of competition in large-scale tournaments.

Greg Kamansky

Kamansky said one out of every four years, college teams are permitted to play in a preseason event overseas. When that happens, , the NCAA gives the school an exemption to start practicing earlier than the fall start date in October.

The Broncos will be allowed 10 practice days, the first of which will be Aug. 1.

This will be the second venture overseas for Kamansky, who traveled to Greece in May to present in a coaches clinic and share his knowledge of the sport with other coaches from across the globe. It was a week or so after that he got the invitation for his team to Taiwan.

“I had never been overseas, and it was a great experience,” he said. “I came back thinking if I ever had a chance to take a team, I would love to do that and then this came along. It was great timing.”

Kamansky did his homework before accepting the invitation. He checked to see which teams had participated in the event before and one was the Chapman University women’s team, which traveled abroad last year. He contacted coach Carol Jue, who had positive things to say about the experience.

A branch of the monastery in Hacienda Heights is sponsoring the trip, and it is the one that selected the Broncos to participate. Kamansky and his coaching staff visited there to get more information.

He also talked it over with his players who were receptive to the idea.

Cal Poly Pomona will challenge two teams from Taiwan — Chien Hsin and Ming Dao universities — and a squad from China, Huaqiao University.

The event will give the Broncos an early start, which they probably need. Kamansky has just one senior and one junior on his team.

Cal Poly Pomona is coming off a season in which it went 22-8 overall and 14-6 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play. They’ll be staying at a monastery in Taiwan
“I really don’t know much about the style of play or the caliber of those teams,” he said. “I just heard they’re all really big so we better be ready.”

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Cal Poly Pomona alum Cody Ponce gets minor league honor

Former Cal Poly Pomona pitcher Cody Ponce got a late start to the season due to some “forearm fatigue.” But Ponce, also a product of Damien High School, has rebounded quite nicely and is having a stellar season.

Ponce, the Brewers’ No. 8 prospect, tossed a pair of scoreless outings last week, lasting 11 innings in total, while striking out 17 and walking none for Class A Advanced Brevard County to capture the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week award.

The award is Ponce’s first as a pro since he was taken in the second round of the 2015 Draft out of Cal Poly Pomona.

“I think it came down to whatever was working that day,” Ponce said. “But really in that sense, it was all [catcher Dustin Houle]. I don’t think I shook him maybe more than once or twice. He was just great behind the dish for two great games. I have to give it up to him. And then I had some great guys behind me making all the plays. I couldn’t have done this without them.”

Ponce’s first gem of the week came last Monday when he fanned five batters and allowed only two hits over five scoreless innings against Dunedin in what had been his longest start of the season up to that point. He one-upped himself five days later by lasting six frames, while fanning a career-high 12 and scattering only three hits. His 17 strikeouts were tied for third-most in the minors for the week of July 4-10 and were more than his dozen strikeouts over his five starts (14 innings) combined.

As impressive as the strikeout numbers were last week, the 6-foot-6 right-hander was happier with his zero in the walks column.

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Former Summit HS standout to take part in US Olympic Track Trials

khallifah

Khallifah Rosser of Cal State Los Angeles has already won a national championship, tied a long-running school record and won an elite race at the legendary Mt. San Antonio College Relays in 2016.

Now he is in Oregon ready to take his shot at the grandest goal of all: a spot on the United States Olympic Team.

Rosser, also a product of Summit High School and Chaffey College, will compete in the first round of the 400-meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympic Trials today at 6:53 p.m., hoping to advance to the semifinals on Friday wit the final slated for Sunday.

He has the seventh-fastest qualifying time entering the Trials and needs to finish among the top three to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team.

“I feel good; I’m real confident that I can reach my goal, but right now I am focusing everything on the first day and doing what I need to do to make it out of the first round,” Rosser said. “If I execute the plan like I should, I should do well.”

Rosser’s  qualifying mark of 49.04 came in winning an NCAA Division II championship in May.

He is also buoyed by a break-through performance at the Mt. SAC Relays in April when he achieved a then-personal best mark of 49.27, while beating an elite field that included Olympic Trial participants like Jeshua Anderson, C.J. Allen and Michael Tinsley. “

 

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