8 pairs march into finals

Shirley Kim leans back for a return, while teammate Loyda Ito looks on during their women’s B doubles semis game against Dianne Francisco and Alma Ortega in the 2014 Shirley’s Badminton Classic last Saturday at the TSL Sports Complex. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Shirley Kim leans back for a return, while teammate Loyda Ito looks on during their women’s B doubles semis game against Dianne Francisco and Alma Ortega in the 2014 Shirley’s Badminton Classic last Saturday at the TSL Sports Complex. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Eight teams locked up finals berths in the 2014 Shirley’s Badminton Classic after winning their respective playoff games last Saturday at the TSL Sports Complex.

In the men’s B doubles, Young Son Yu and Jong Min Lee and Pastor Pang and Oh Im Bog took different routes to the finals. Yu and Lee needed three games to slip past Ezekiel Macario and Deether Edralin with the former pair drawing first blood, 21-12, but missing a sweep as the latter came back strong in the second game, 21-13. In the deciding third game, the protagonists went back and forth with Yu and Lee escaping with a tough 22-20 victory on Court 1 to notch the second finals ticket in their division.

Over at Court 2, Oh and Pang secured the first finals seat after easing past Eric Pena and Alvin Alvarez, 21-13, 21-6. Pang and Oh will dispute the division championship against Lee and Yu this Saturday, while the pair of Pena and Alvarez will play in the battle for third place against the tandem of Macario and Edralin.

Lee and Yu also advanced to the semifinals of the men’s A doubles, but failed to bag another finals slot. Glenn Bluutjens and Sam Jones foiled Lee and Yu’s bid for a second finals appearance after posting a 23-21, 21-13 victory in the night cap on Court 3. The match against Bluutjens and Jones was Lee and Yu’s third straight in the same day, as they earlier challenged Cris Hilario and Jerry Hibi in a knockout game for the last semis spot in the men’s doubles A. Yu and Lee went on to eliminate Hilario and Hibi, 21-18, 21-20, to set up a semis date with the top-ranked Bluutjens and Jones.

Jones and Bluutjens will go for the division championship against Andreau Galvez and Edralin, who registered a contrasting win in the other Final Four game. Galvez and Edralin prevailed in the opening game against Macario and Jordan Pangilinan, 21-15, but were forced to play in a third match when the latter pair recovered in the second, 21-14. In the rubber match, Galvez and Edralin went back to business and took an emphatic 21-4 victory, to earn the right to challenge Bluutjens and Jones in the finals set for this Sunday.

In the women’s doubles, Class B, it will be the pair of Loyda Ito and Shirley Kim versus the duo of Julie Lee and Rowena Sison. Ito and Kim barged into the finals after sweeping Dianne Francisco and Alma Ortega, 21-19, 21-16. Lee and Sison also dispatched their opponents after only two games, but both wins against Cheng Saturno and Lucelle Lampera were hard-earned, 22-20, 22-20.

In the women’s C doubles, Vilma Reyes and Baby Banadera dominated Roxe Lazaro and Lani Santos, 21-16, 21-13, to clinch the first finals seat in the division. Nicole Malasarte and Patricia Abantao won the other finals berth after sweeping Emily Vargas and Judy Mendieta. The youthful tandem notched an easy victory in the opening game, 21-7, before sweating out a 26-24 triumph in the second.

Meanwhile, four singles semifinal games were also played last Saturday with Abantao, Lazaro, A.J. Ortega and Leo Su making it on the winners circle.

Abantao swept Gigi Zapanta in the women’s C singles, 21-13, 21-15, to arrange a finals tiff against Lazaro, who also took only two games to boot out Reyes, 21-13, 21-17. Lazaro and Abantao’s finals showdown is scheduled for this Saturday.

In the men’s C singles, both semis matches were extended to three games. Ortega moved one win away from securing a finals ticket after a 21-17 win over Jeremy Montenejo, who denied the former an early entry to the finals with a 21-13 victory in the second game. In the deciding third game, Ortega regained his bearings to eke out a 21-17 win.

Su also had a good start in his semis duel against Panapa Peteru, bagging a 21-15 victory before the latter extended the Final Four collision with a 21-10 triumph in the second game. In the knockout match, Su grouped and worked out a 21-17 victory to claim the second and last finals berth in the men’s C singles. Su and Ortega will go for all the marbles this Saturday.

More singles matches and the remaining doubles semis tiffs were played last Sunday and results will be reported in Saipan Tribune’s Friday edition.

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

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