4 jr. players secure playoff berths

The CNMI’s Sam Ryu, seen here in action during a local tournament at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan courts, won his second game in the boys U16 singles event of the 2018 North Pacific Regional Championships yesterday in Guam. (Contributed Photo)

Four CNMI junior players are assured of playoffs seats in the 2018 North Pacific Regional Championships as they continued to perform well in the pool play of their respective singles event.

In the boys U14 singles, No. 1 seed Seung Jin Paik finished the elimination with a 3-0 and sealed the first playoff slot in Group A after beating the Federated State of Micronesia’s Nolen Narruhn, 6-0, 6-1, at the Sheraton Hotel courts in Guam.

Only the Top 2 placers in each pool will move into the playoffs with Narruhn taking the other spot in the group after earning a 2-1 mark. Completing the division’s quarterfinal cast were the CNMI’s Andy Kim and No. 3 Daniel Kang, No. 2 Thomas Ysrael, No. 4 Dakota Gibson, and Aarman Sachdev of Guam, and FSM’s Deavyn Etscheit.

Kang ruled Group C with his perfect 3-0 record, completing the sweep after downing FSM’s Kigo Apis yesterday, 6-1, 6-3. Kim was ranked second in Group B, earning a spot to the quarterfinals and a 2-1 mark in pool play following a tough 7-5, 4-6, 10-8 triumph over Aiden Schembari.

In the girls U14 singles, No. 1 seed Coume Kaga is likely to move into the semifinals as she gained a 2-0 record in Group A with one game left in the elimination. Kaga shut down FSM’s Isabella Sipos yesterday morning and was going for a pool sweep in the afternoon against the latter’s compatriot Niqui Peterson, who was winless after two games.

In Group B, Hye Jin Elliot is still in the race for one of the two semis berths after moving up to a 2-1 mark following her 6-1, 6-3 victory over FSM’s Movida Jerry. Elliot needs to beat No. 2 and Guam’s Kaia Malakooti today to march into the playoffs.

In the boys U16 singles, which has a round-robin format, Sam Ryu improved to a 2-0 record after defeating FSM’s Karl Manlapaz, 6-1, 6-0, and was scheduled to face fellow CNMI player Daniel Heo in the afternoon match. Eugene Park also won yesterday against FSM’s Jack Jack, 6-3, 6-2, to bounce back from his opening day loss to Andy Sipos. Park then dropped his second match on Day 2, losing to Guam’s Marshall Zang.

In the girls U16 singles, which also has a round-robin format, Malika Miyawaki was 2-0 after yesterday’s matches, as she swept Guam’s Joycelyn Tenai, 6-0, 6-0. The other CNMI bet in the division, Maria Gregoire, dropped to a 1-1 card, as she was defeated by FSM’s Anne Skillijng, 6-1, 6-2.

Meanwhile, in the U12 team event, the CNMI Boys remained undefeated following a 2-1 triumph over Guam Boys 1. The opposing teams split the two singles matches with the CNMI’s David Kwon winning over Rhys Matanona, 6-1, 6-0, and the host’s Johnny Jackson topping Anthony Gregoire, 6-3, 6-4. Gregoire then redeemed himself when he and Kwon beat the Guam pair in the deciding doubles game, 6-3, 6-2.

In the all-CNMI duel in the girls division, CNMI 1 blanked CNMI 2. Serin Chung and Helen Kim prevailed over Ye Jin Son, 6-2, 6-1 and Dana Lee, 6-3, 6-3, respectively. Serin and Kim then completed the sweep with a 6-7 (3), 6-3, 10-5 win in the doubles.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for 16 years. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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