High school badminton season kicks off
Saipan International School will start its title defense in the Public School System/TakeCare Badminton Interscholastic League against Kagman High School, as the 2022-2023 season of the Northern Marianas Badminton Association-sanctioned competition kicks off tomorrow, Jan. 21, at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
The Geckos-Ayuyus tiff is scheduled on Court 1, starting at 8:30am. The opposing teams will play the boys doubles first, while the remaining events (in order) are singles and boys singles, girls doubles, and mixed doubles. SIS won the inaugural season after stunning the No. 1 seed Marianas High School in the finals, 3-2. The Geckos prevailed in the girls doubles, girls singles, and mixed doubles.
Five other schools are competing this season with some having two teams. SIS 1 is on Bracket 1 with Kagman, Tinian High School, Agape Christian School 1, Saipan Southern High School 2, and MHS 2. MHS 1 will join Saipan Southern 1, Agape 2, Grace Christian Academy, and SIS 2 on Bracket 2. Teams in each bracket will play in a round-robin regular season and the Top 2 in each bracket will advance to the playoffs.
Meanwhile, other teams playing in the first set of matches include Tinian vs MHS 2 on Court 2; Agape 1 vs Saipan Southern 2 on Court 3; Saipan Southern 1 vs GCA on Court 4; and Agape 2 vs MHS 1 on Court 5.
For the second and final set of matches this weekend, beginning at 10:15am, MHS 1 will take on Saipan Southern 1 on Court 1; GCA vs SIS 2 on Court 2; Tinian vs Agape 1 on Court 3; MHS 2 vs Kagman on Court 4; and SIS 1 vs Saipan Southern 2 on Court 5.
Preliminary games in the high school division will continue on Jan. 27 and 28, while the competition will be on break for a couple of weeks, as NMBA will have players participating in an off-island tournament. Action in the IBL will resume on Feb. 25, while the playoff round is slated for March 4 and 11.
“We welcome back our high school students for the second season of the Public School System/TakeCare Badminton Interscholastic League. After our successful inaugural season, we are pleased to announce that we have more teams this year. Thanks to the coaches and the support of their respective schools and officials. We would also like to thank the leadership of the CNMI Public School System and athletic director Nick Gross for their continued commitment to the program and TakeCare for their sponsorship of our entire competition, including last year’s middle school division,” said NMBA president Merlie Tolentino.
“We wish all the teams good luck as they compete for the second season of the Interscholastic Badminton League. TakeCare Insurance remains committed to initiatives, such as sports competitions, that advocate for keeping our community active and healthy, and we are happy to see more of our youth taking part in the interscholastic program,” TakeCare Insurance administrative assistant/sales coordinator Leilani Pangelinan said. (PR)