North Pacific U16 settles for runner-up honors


Richard Steele joins his fellow CNMI players in warming up for the games in the 2017 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships Team Event last Monday in Fiji. (Contributed Photo)

North Pacific lost in a tiebreaker to East Pacific in the U16 division contest of the 2017 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships Team Event last Wednesday in Fiji.

East Pacific defeated West, 6-2, in the final game in the team event to finish the round-robin contest with a 9-7 record, the same mark that the CNMI-led North Pacific posted after a 4-4 standoff against West Pacific and a 5-3 victory over East Pacific. East Pacific ended up nosing out North Pacific for the age group championship with its 20-15 sets won/loss record against the latter’s 19-17.

East Pacific grabbed the U16 title from North Pacific as the former won three of its last five games against West. East first raced to a 3-0 advantage before West Pacific won the last singles play, courtesy of the victory of Vanuatu’s Marlin Hannam against Tahiti’s Hirinaki Lo, 6-4, 6-3.

Then in the doubles, East and West split the first two with the Tahiti pair of Jeremy Guines and Lo beating Tuvalu’s Gavin Moliti and Vanuatu’s Samuel Strid, 6-2, 6-1, and Vanuatu’s Clement Mainguy and Fiji’s Shantanu Shail downing the Cook Islands’ Elijah Amataiti, 7-6 (3), 6-2.

Up 4-2 and needing to sweep the last two girls doubles games to tie North Pacific, East Pacific delivered, thanks to the victories of Tahiti’s Naia Guitton and Samoa’s Eleanor Schuster and Tonga’s Brookie Maassi and Kava Tauva over Vanuatu’s Desiree Signo and Daisy Spiti, 6-0, 6-1, and Fiji’s Saoirse Breen and Vanuatu’s Rosalie Molballeh, 2-6, 6-4, 10-5, respectively.

Meanwhile, North Pacific finished third both in the U14 and U12 divisions.

North Pacific wrapped up round-robin play in the U14 with a 4-12 record after absorbing a 2-6 loss to West Pacific last Wednesday. East Pacific ruled the age group with its 11-5 mark, just two wins ahead of West Pacific (9-7).

East Pacific completed a sweep of the team event as it also prevailed in the U12 division after ending up with a 12-4 record against the 9-7 of the West and 3-13 of the North. East Pacific secured the division title following a 6-2 triumph over North Pacific in the last day of the competition.

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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