The seasoned warriors of Northern Marianas Badminton Association showed poise against much younger foes in the women’s division of the Shirley’s Badminton Classic over the weekend.
In the Class A singles finals, 56-year-old Hannai Choi of Saipan Badminton Club defeated U18 player Janelle Pangilinan of Community Badminton Club, 21-14, 21-12. Choi moved a win away from defending her Class A crown after ousting Pangilinan’s teammate and eventual third placer Jen Cardinio in the semifinals, 21-15, 21-15. Pangilinan took the second finals berth after eliminating Lani Bartolome in the other Final Four pairing, 21-16, 17-21, 21-12.
Pangilinan also made it to the title match of Class B, but was spoiled by another veteran player—Toshiko Obata. The Japanese lost last year’s Class B finals to U18 player Jen Savellano, but this time went home victorious, surviving Pangilinan in three games, 21-14, 16-21, 21-18. Obata earned a return trip to the finals after topping Cardinio in the first semis duel, 21-15, 21-17. Pangilinan advanced, following a 21-18, 16-21, 21-15 victory over Dianne Francisco, who saved third place after edging Cardinio in the consolation game, 21-14, 18-21, 21-17.
In the Class C singles finals, U18 player Havika Farro needed only two games to beat Rowena Sison, 21-14, 21-18. Farro marched into the finale after also defeating Roxe Lazaro in two games, 21-14, 21-16, while Sison took the second title berth after slipping past Nicole Malasarte, 18-21, 21-15, 21-16.
After losing to Farro in the singles, Sison came back with victory in doubles division. Sison partnered with Francisco and together they thumped the youthful duo of Farro and Mikki Caracut in the finals, 21-16, 21-17. Lani Santos and Lazaro rounded out the Top 3 after beating Malasarte and Mika Sison in the consolation match, 21-14, 21-18.
In the Class B doubles finals, Obata joined forces with Windy Fernandez to prevail against Ortega and Francisco, 21-16, 21-18. Pangilinan and Cardinio settled for third after a 21-14, 21-16 win over Elna Curate and Loida Ito.
After falling short in the Class B doubles, Ortega finally brought home a gold medal, as she and Choi ruled the Class A doubles. Ortega and Choi won over Fernandez and Lani Bartolome, 21-14, 21-16. Obata and Ana Omori completed the Top 3 after defeating Shirley Kim and Ana Alvarez, 21-14, 21-18.
Ortega went on to take her second gold medal in doubles, as she and Lucelle Lampera topped Ito and Kim in the 35-and-over division, 21-16, 21-19. Curate and Lani Santos finished third after a 21-16, 21-14 win over Cristy Villaflor and Gigi Zapanta.