Malasarte marvelous in B division

Posted on Oct 20 2021

Women’s B division singles champion Malou Malasarte, right, poses with runner-up Rowena Houck during the TakeCare Badminton Open 2021 awards ceremony last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium’s conference room. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Malou Malasarte dominated the B division of the TakeCare Badminton Open 2021 after taking home two titles over the weekend at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

The 42-year-old businesswoman first topped the women’s singles after beating Rowena Houck in the finals. Malasarte and Houck were locked in a dead heat in the first set before the former eventually pulled out a 21-20 victory.

In the second set, Malasarte took an early lead and never looked back and won the championship with an easy 21-5 win.

The Dasmariñas, Cavite in the Philippines native said she always gives her best while playing badminton. That’s why despite her busy schedule running Pepoy’s Restacafe and lack of practice she still managed to give her 100% during tournaments.

Malasarte said she’s been playing badminton since 2008 and was supposed to suit up in the women’s singles A division, but unfortunately the organizing Northern Marianas Badminton Association didn’t offer it during the tournament.

Malasarte’s willingness to do everything in her power to win was also in full display in the mixed doubles. She teamed up with youthful Hajin Oh to overwhelm Lance Gallardo and Hannah Choi, 21-18, 21-10.

This time, Malasarte said it was her partner that led them to the championship, adding that Oh has a bright future in the sport and seemed to be everywhere on the court against Gallardo and Choi.

Malasarte’s magic, however, ran out in the women’s doubles, as she and Yoko Borja succumbed to eventual champions Windy Fernandez and Choi in the semifinals, 10-21, 13-21.

Fernandez and Choi then completed their undefeated run to the women’s doubles title after outlasting Lucelle Lampera and Michaella Sanchez, 21-6, 18-21, 21-17. Lampera and Sanchez barged into the championship round following a tough 21-6, 18-21, 21-17 victory over the mother-and-daughter tandem of Loyda and Angie Ito.

In the men’s doubles, Gallardo teamed up with Chris Hilario and beat Hajin Oh and John Oh in the championship round, 21-15, 21-16.

Gallardo and Hilario earlier made the Group A finals after they didn’t clown around in beating Allan Relativo and Hapi Gabriel, 21-15, 17-21, 21-17. The Ohs, meanwhile, got the better of Patrick Fieldad and Thomas Lin in a dogfight of a semifinals in Group B, 21-11, 9-21, 21-20, to advance to the finals.

Around 70 players competed in the TakeCare Insurance Co., Inc.-sponsored tournament. Results of the C singles, doubles, and mixed doubles will be published in tomorrow’s issue of Saipan Tribune.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at
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