Aquino, Pinkerton lead champions list

Vince Aquino makes a return during his and Emma Pinkerton’s title game against Tim Choi and Zoey Zeng in the mixed CC doubles event of the IT&E badminton tournament last Friday at the TSL Sports Complex. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The tandem of Vince Aquino and Emma Pinkerton took the first title at stake in the IT&E Singles and Mixed Doubles Badminton Competition after prevailing in the mixed doubles CC division last Friday at the the TSL Sports Complex.

Aquino and Pinkerton were undefeated in the division, capping their perfect run in the competition by sweeping Tim Choi and Zoey Zeng in the finals, 21-15, 21-15. The newly crowned champions had a twice-to-beat advantage in the title match and capitalized on the edge they got, dispatching their foes early.

Choi and Zeng forced a finals showdown against Aquino and Pinkerton after downing Lani Santos and Tommy Kim in the loser’s bracket semis. Pinkerton and Aquino, on the other hand, took the first finals seat following a victory over Zeng and Choi in the winner’s bracket semis of the double-elimination tournament.

Meanwhile, Windy Fernandez will have her hands full this weekend when the Northern Marianas Badminton Association holds the awards ceremony in the IT&E-sponsored event, as she clinched three titles over the weekend.

In the singles, Fernandez bagged the B division crown after defeating Loyda Ito in the finals, 21-12, 21-9. Fernandez moved to the title match and earned a twice-to-beat edge after a victory via forfeit against the injured Anna Alvarez last Saturday. Earlier, Fernandez also downed Merlie Tolentino and Ito to march into the semis, while the latter prevailed against Cristy Villaflor, Tolentino, and Alvarez to get a second crack at Fernandez.

Fernandez also played in the mixed doubles BB finals and she and Cris Hilario needed only one match to beat Gary Bandoja and Annette Ta. Hilario and Fernandez, who moved into the title game following a win over Jorge Olanda and Roweno Sison, were tested to their limits in the finale before pulling off a 22-20, 19-21, 21-9 triumph.

It took also three games for Fernandez and Ferdie Arago to outlast Bandoja and Hannah Choi in the mixed doubles AB finals. The eventual champions dropped the first game, 20-22, and then bounced back in the second with a 21-14 to keep their title hopes alive. Fernandez and Arago went on to complete the come-from-behind win following a 21-5 domination of Bandoja and Choi.

Choi and Bandoja gained a finals berth after sweeping Ito and Nate Guerrero in the loser’s bracket semis, 21-12, 21-15.

Guerrero did not go home empty handed last weekend, as he teamed up with Hilario in ruling the men’s AB doubles. They needed only two games to beat Arago and Patrick Fernandez, 21-17, 21-16. The winning duo also prevailed in two games against Choi and Yun Zhang, 21-15, 21-18, while Fernandez and Arago defeated the latter, too, 21-18, 21-19, to take the last finals berth.

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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