CNMI National Badminton player Andreu Galvez bucked a slow start to beat Joseph Torres in the finals of the men’s A singles of the TakeCare Badminton Open 2021 at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
Torres actually negated the 29-year-old CK Head Start staff’s twice-to-beat advantage in the first game of the championship, 21-11, 21-16, last Wednesday to force a do-or-die rubber match.
Luckily for Galvez, he stepped up when the stakes were highest and leaned on his veteran savvy to beat Torres in a nail-biter, 21-18, 21-20, last Friday.
The newly minted men’s A singles champion said he was really lucky that he went undefeated in the seeding round and that allowed him to be able to afford to lose Game 1 of the finals.
“Since I had no losses in my bracket for the men’s singles category, I had the opportunity to play twice (in the event I lose the first time, I would play a second and final time). I did however lose the first round, so I had to ensure a last-chance victory in the second and final round,” he said.
The Sadog Tasi resident, who began playing badminton when he was just 15 years old, had to dig deep into his bag of tricks to upend Torres in the highly competitive finals.
“Because singles is more tactical and rigorous compared to doubles, my strategy was more focused on patience, pace of movement or speed, pace of shots, and defense all while saving energy for attacking points,” he said.
Galvez also admitted that he entered the finals at a bit of a disadvantage, as a lingering injury and his workload didn’t really allow him to practice and train for the championship.
“I didn’t really have training prior or during the duration of the tournament as I’ve been lately heavily tired throughout the day from work which did affect my performance in the tournament, and recovering from an injury from one of my matches. Until I reached the finals was where it really mattered and thought I need to do something to ensure victory.”
Fortunately, everything clicked for Galvez in the crucial stages of the finals and he was able to add the men’s A singles title to the two team championships he won earlier this year as part of Shirley’s Badminton Club.
“The last strategy I was able to do at the last minute that helped a lot in my victory was warming up my body right before the final match. I made sure to take care of any soreness in my body (legs, feet, back, etc.) using a massager. Quality stretching. And warm up exercises to get my heart pumped. All this really made a difference despite being fatigued from work and sore from prior matches,” he said.
In the finals of mixed doubles A, Nate Guerrero and Janelle Pangilinan overcame Jordan Pangilinan and Lucelle Lampera’s twice-to-beat advantage in the finals to annex the championship.
Guerrero and Janelle Pangilinan forced a second game by defeating the No. 1 seeds last Wednesday, 21-9, 18-21, 21-11. They then completed the back-door run to the championship with a 21-14, 21-12 conquest of Jordan Pangilinan and Lampera last Friday.
Jordan Pangilinan and Joseph Torres then bounced back from separate losses in the finals by going all the way in the men’s doubles A. Prior to the finals against top seed Andreau Galvez and Lance Gallardo, both doubles teams agreed to play a one-game championships and Pangilinan and Torres pulled out all the stops to upset Galvez and Gallardo, 21-10, 21-14.
A total of 29 players competed in the TakeCare Insurance Co., Inc.-sponsored tournament. Results of the B and C singles, doubles, and mixed doubles will be published in the next issues of Saipan Tribune.