Four pairs earn finals berth in IT&E tourney

Participants in the IT&E Singles and Mixed Doubles Badminton Tournament 2018 pose for a photo after the opening of the competition last Saturday at the TSL Sports Complex. (Contributed Photo)

Four pairs moved into the title matches in their respective divisions in the IT&E Singles and Mixed Doubles Badminton Tournament 2018 that kicked off over the weekend at the TSL Sports Complex.

In the mixed CC category, the finals cast is set with the tandem of Vince Aquino and Emma Pinkerton battling the duo of Tim Choi and Zoey Zeng. Aquino and Pinkerton were undefeated in the double-elimination contest and took the first finals berth after downing Choi and Zeng, Puy Macario and Annette Ta, and Tommy Kim and Santos in the winner’s bracket.

A 21-7, 21-12 victory over Kim and Santos moved Aquino and Pinkerton into the finals where the undefeated pair will have a twice-to-beat advantage against Choi and Zeng. The second finalists worked their way back into contention after topping the husband and wife tandem of Mark and Cathy Toves and Macario and Ta. Choi and Zeng then earned a second crack at Pinkerton and Aquino after winning the duel for the last finals berth versus Kim and Santos, 21-12, 21-18.

In the AB mixed, Ferdie Arago and Windy Fernandez secured the first finals berth after sweeping their matches in the winner’s bracket. The duo notched a finals ticket after outclassing Loyda Ito and Nate Guerrero, 21-14, 21-10. Arago and Fernandez also prevailed against the pairs Ana Alvarez and Yun Zhang, Joseph Torres and Lucelle Lampera, and Patrick Fernandez and Jaja Bocago in earlier games.

Guerrero and Ito, on the other hand won over the teams of Alex Nguyen and Zang and Gary Bandoja, bu with the loss to Arago and Fernandez, they dropped to the loser’s bracket and have to wait for their foes in fight for the last finals berth. Zhang and Alvarez will square off with Gary Bandoja and Hannah Choi this weekend with the winner facing Guerrero and Ito for the right to challenge Arago and Fernandez in the title match.

Windy Fernandez took her second finals slot, as she teamed up with Cris Hilario in marching into the mixed BB championship game. Hilario and Fernandez survived the winner’s bracket and gained the first finals ticket in the group following a 21-15, 21-13 victory against Jorge Olanda and Rowena Sison in the semis.

Sison and Olanda still have a chance to make it to the finals if they beat Bandoja and Ta in the loser’s bracket semis. The winner of the rubber will when have to down Fernandez and Hilario twice to top the division.

In other results last weekend, Elna Curate and Mae Ito bagged the first semis berth in the women’s BB after defeating Cristy Villafor and Lani Santos, 21-10, 19-21, 21-16, and Loyda Ito and Merlie Tolentino, 25-23, 12-21, 21-18.

In the men’s BB, Oh Im Bog and Hannai Choi also barged into the semis following their 21-14, 21-10 triumph over Bandoja and Olanda.

In the AB men’s, Hilario and Guerrero are a win away from moving into the title match after outclassing Macoi Aguda and Vince Aquino, 22-20, 21-19, and Torres and Brian Valenton, 21-16, 21-17.

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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