The Northern Marianas Badminton Association has announced the final roster for the NMI Badminton National Team that will be competing in the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 next month.
Making it to the Final 12 are national team returnees Nate Guerrero, Andreau Galvez, Daniel and Ezekiel Macario, and Jordan Pangilinan, and newcomer Leonard Manuel of the men’s team. Janelle Pangilinan will lead the women’s squad, which will also have Windy Fernandez, Jenine Savellano, Jeanelyn Cardinio, and sisters Michaella and Mikamaika Serrano. The Pangilinan and Macario siblings, Guerrero, and Galvez represented the NMI to the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa. James Digno is the group’s coach and will be joined by assistant coaches Paulo Quidato and Patricia Surima. NMBA president Merlie Tolentino is the team manager.
“We are pleased to announce our final roster for the badminton competition in the 2022 Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games. These athletes and their coaches have been training hard for the past several months to get ready for the Mini Games and put on a strong performance in the competition. We, at the NMBA, are excited to see them play at home, show great sportsmanship, and challenge the players from six other countries,” Tolentino said.
The NMI players will be battling the representatives of Guam, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, New Caledonia, and Wallis and Futuna in the team event. Tuvalu is also competing, but will only join the individual events.
Badminton Oceania, which will be sanctioning the competition from June 20 to 25 at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium, has already released the schedule for the mixed team event with the NMI set to debut against Tahiti—one of the tournament favorites. The other seeded squad in the mixed team event is New Caledonia, which won the silver medal in Samoa. Tahiti was the bronze medalist in the 2019 Pacific Games, while Fiji won the gold in the mixed team event. The NMI finished fifth in the mixed team event in Samoa after winning over the hosts and Kiribati.
“We have several players who gained experience from playing in very competitive matches in Samoa so we are positive that this exposure will help them have a better performance in next month’s Mini Games and provide leadership to the team, especially to the first-timers in the Games. Our players will be playing in front of NMI fans, so that’s an added boost to their confidence. Please come, watch, and support not just our badminton players, but the entire Team NMI,” Tolentino said.
Meanwhile, the NMBA thanked the Mini Games Organizing Committee for providing the national team gear and equipment for the Mini Games, which will have its opening ceremonies on June 17 at the newly resurfaced Oleai Sports Complex track oval. (PR)