Golden Racquets and Shirley’s Badminton Club took the finals berths in the 9th Annual Traders Insurance Badminton Team Tournament after finishing in the Top 2 in the elimination round of the Northern Marianas Badminton Association-organized competition.
Golden Racquets was ranked first in the four-team tournament after earning an 89-46 record. Shirley’s settled for the No. 2 rankings with its 87-48 record despite eking out a 24-21 win in its first faceoff against the Golden Racquets over the weekend at the TSL Sports Complex.
Shirley’s won the closely fought game that served as a final preview after gaining cushion in the matches held on Court 1, 16-8. Golden Racquets prevailed in the games that took place on Court 2, 13-8, to nose out Shirley’s in the overall team standings after the round-robin elimination.
Cheng Saturno and Myla Vicencio handed Golden Racquets its first win after they swept Vilma Reyes and Baby Banadera in the women’s BC doubles on Court 1, 21-13, 21-18. After dropping its first match, Shirley’s went on to take the next four—men’s AA, men’s BB, mixed BB, and men’s AB doubles.
In the men’s AA doubles, Ferdie Arago and Daniel Macario topped Jordan Pangilinan and Dick Guinto, 21-13, 21-15; Chris Hilario and Jeff Riman defeated Alvin Alvarez and Joel Ortega, 21-14, 21-17 in the men’s BB; Hilario and Windy Fernandez outclassed Alma and Joel Ortega in the mixed BB, 21-13, 21-19; and Riman and Macario beat Pangilinan and Jerry Ebuenga in the men’s AB, 21-19, 21-14.
In the women’s AB doubles, Golden Racquets regained its winning form when Alma and Jen Savellano swept Reyes and Jaja Bocago, 21-16, 21-19, while Vic Reyes and A.J. Ortega took three games to thwart Shirley’s Patrick Fernandez and Erwin Lee in the men’s BC doubles, 21-18, 22-24, 21-7. The mixed B doubles also went the distance with Banadera and Oh Im Bog outlasting Noli Santos and Vicencio, 21-17, 17-21, 21-9.
In the mixed AB doubles, Shirley’s Hannah Choi and Hajin Oh took the short route to victory against Deether Edralin and Rowena Sison, 21-13, 21-16. Choi played back-to-back games, teaming up with Annette Ta in outlasting Janelle Pangilinan and Anna Alvarez in the women’s AA doubles, 10-21, 21-18, 21-13. In the women’s C doubles, Vicencio and Roxanne Soriano eased past Kathy Distor and Emma Pinkerton, 21-14, 21-9.
Meanwhile, Shirley’s and Golden Racquet’s title showdown will take place this weekend, while the battle for third place between the Alamo/Armatech-backed United Badminton Club (67-68) and Taga Badminton Club (27-108) will continue this Friday.