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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Two suspended players plan to apologize

By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer


WHO: Utah State vs. Hawai‘i

WHEN: Tomorrow, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Stan Sheriff Center

ADMISSION: $7 adults; $5 senior citizens; free grades 4 through 12 and UH students


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Two of the three suspended University of Hawai'i women's basketball players said they plan to apologize to the team today for what they said was violating the team's 11 p.m. curfew Saturday at Fresno, Calif.

"We're not irresponsible people, we can follow rules," said starting post player Alofa Toiaivao, who was suspended along with starting forward Pam Tambini, and reserve guard Saundra Cariaga by UH coach Jim Bolla over the weekend.

The three players were sent back to Honolulu before Monday's 83-75 loss at Boise State. Tambini was not available for comment yesterday.

Bolla said he plans to address the situation today with the players whom he suspended indefinitely for what he said was a "violation of team policy." Bolla said he wanted to consult with school administrators before making a decision.

"I have to get some resolution to this," said Bolla, whose team (10-6 overall, 1-4 Western Athletic Conference) has lost four consecutive games, and hosts WAC foes Utah State tomorrow and Nevada Saturday.

Toiaivao said the group was "out late" Saturday night, and "being loud, just basically being irresponsible" at the team's Piccadilly Inn University Hotel following Hawai'i 77-52 loss at Fresno State.

Toiaivao called the punishment "fair" because "we did violate some of his rules."

"There's no disrespect toward our coach," Toiaivao said. "It was fair."

Cariaga said she will apologize to the team with Toiaivao today.

"Saying sorry to coach Bolla for disrespecting him and the team, and the University of Hawai'i," Cariaga said.

Suspended players are not allowed to practice with the team, and Cariaga and Toiaivao last night practiced by themselves among the pickup basketball players at Klum Gym.

"We just want to come back from the suspension stronger than we were before," Toiaivao said. "We're going to work twice as hard to show him we want it."

Toiaivao has appeared in 11 games with six starts and is averaging 13.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in four WAC games. Tambini has started 14 of 15 games this season and is averaging 9.1 ppg and 6.2 rpg. Cariaga has appeared in nine games off the bench and is averaging 2.4 ppg and 1.6 rpg.

Reach Brandon Masuoka at bmasuoka@honoluluadvertiser.com.