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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Shirley’s outclasses Berks Blazers

Shirley’s Badminton Club’s Ezekiel Macario goes for a backhand return during his and Hapi Gabriel’s doubles match against Taga’s Ariel Mariano and Andreau Galvez in the Traders Insurance tournament last Sunday at the TSL Sports Complex. (Roselyn B. Monroyo) Shirley’s Badminton Club pulled off an upset over last year’s finalists the Berks Blazers, 18-12, in Week 3 of the 2012 Traders Insurance Badminton Team Tournament.

Shirley’s topped three mixed doubles matches and won two women’s doubles and one men’s to hand the Berks Blazers back-to-back losses in the team tournament. The Blazers also bowed to defending champion Saipan Badminton Club in Week 2, 9-21, while Shirley’s dropped its debut against Golden Racquets, 5-25.

Toshiko Obata and Brandon Talania led Shirley’s big win over the Berks Blazers, as they had three matches each and prevailed in all their Week 2 assignments. Obata teamed up with Brandon Talania in the mixed BC and they survived Wowie Abuel and Arlene Naguit in three games, 21-19, 16-21, 21-16. Then in the women’s B doubles, the Japanese partnered with Windy Fernandez in sweeping Jane Tupas and Lot Abuel, 21-14, 21-12. Obata’s third match was also won after only two games, as she and Roma Barlao dominated Annette Quiambao and Tupas, 21-14, 21-11.

Talania’s second win came in the mixed C, as he joined forces with Barlao in routing Rommel Bartolome and Tupas, 21-5, 21-9. Then in the men’s C doubles, Talania connived with Bernard Aquino in downing Jeff Riman and Bartolome, 21-15, 21-14.

Shirley’s sixth win against the Berks’ Blazers was courtesy of the tandem of Jerry Hibi and Annette Ta, who swept Macoi Aguda and Naguit, 21-7, 21-18.

Meanwhile, three of the Berks Blazers’ four victories came from Lani Bartolome. The team’s top female player teamed up with Ferdie Arago and together they triumphed over Joseph Santos and Elma Labuson in the mixed A doubles. Then in the women’s AB, Bartolome joined hands with Quiambao in slipping past Fernandez and Camille Bocago, 14-21, 21-18, 21-15. For the women’s A doubles, Bartolome partnered with Marlene Peraja and they swept Mulan Ta and Kimberly Ocampo, 21-8, 21-8.

Bartolome’s siblings, Wowie and Lot Abuel, took the other win for the Berks Blazers, as the brother-and-sister pair thwarted Chris Hilario and Fernandez in the mixed BB doubles, 17-21, 21-11, 21-19.

With their second straight loss, the Berks Blazers dropped to an even 45-45 record (games won/games loss). They will have their final assignment in the round-robin tournament this weekend when they face the Golden Racquets (35-25).

Shirley’s improved to a 23-37 slate with still three matches left in its schedule. TAGA Badminton Club (6-24) completes the field and results of its duel against the tourney leader Saipan Badminton Club will be reported in Saipan Tribune’s Friday issue.

Only the Top 4 teams after the round-robin play will advance to the next round of the Traders Insurance tournament and so the last two weeks of competition will be crucial in determining the semis qualifiers.

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