The CNMI Badminton Team got win No. 2 in the XVI Pacific Games in Samoa after outclassing Kiribati, 3-2, yesterday at the Multipurpose Gymnasium of the Faleata Sports Complex.
Jordan Pangilinan and Nicole Malasarte paired in the mixed doubles and drew first blood for the Commonwealth. The duo notched a 21-13 victory over Tooma Teuaika and Tinabora Tekeiaki in the first set and completed the sweep with a tougher 22-20 triumph in the second.
Andrew Galvez was next up for the CNMI and after laboring through a 22-20 win over Timwata Kabaua in the opening set, the former eased his way to a 21-11 victory in the second and moved his team one game away from downing Kiribati.
After losing back-to-back games, Kiribati finally made it to the board and remained in contention when Teitiria Itumawa defeated Janelle Pangilinan in the women’s singles, 21-14, 21-11.
However, Kiribati absorbed its fourth loss in as many games in the team event in the next pairing when Jordan partnered with Nathan Guerrero to sweep Kabaua and Teuaika in the men’s doubles, 21-19, 21-17.
Kiribati then saved face in the last game with Tekeiaki and Utimawa prevailing against Malasarte and Pangilinan in the women’s doubles, 21-12, 21-6.
The victory over Kiribati gave the CNMI a split on Day 2 of the competition, as the latter earlier bowed to New Caledonia, 0-5.
With a 2-3 record, the Northern Marianas Badminton Association-organized team is ranked No. 4 in the standings going into today’s last round-robin matches.
Tahiti is ahead and likely to get the gold medal in the team event with its 5-0 mark, while the race for the silver and bronze is still too close to call with Fiji and New Caledonia holding similar 3-1 marks.
New Caledonia will play Samoa and Tahiti today, while Fiji will square off against Kiribati and Samoa. The CNMI will have its last game against Tonga, which is in fifth place with only one victory to show in four matches.