Paik, Kang unbeaten in opening day


Seung Jin Paik, seen here returning a shot to Richard Steele during the CNMI Junior Tennis Championships at the PIC Saipan courts, went 2-0 in the opening day of the 2018 North Pacific Regional Championships in Guam. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Seeded players Seung Jin Paik and Daniel Kang of the CNMI played true to form after going undefeated in the opening day of the 2018 North Pacific Regional Championships.

The No. 1 seed Paik swept his two matches in Group A of the boys U14 singles event yesterday at the Rick Ninete Tennis Center in Guam. Paik blanked the Federated States of Micronesia’s Mofassa Alik, 6-0, 6-0, and completed his impressive showing on Day 1 of the tournament after outclassing Guam’s Jacob Jackson, 6-1, 6-2.

Kang, the No. 3 seed in the same age group, duplicated Paik’s feat after downing FSM’s Aniken Perman in Group C, 6-2, 6-2, and Guam’s Aarman Sachdev, 6-3, 6-1. Kang and Paik need to finish in the Top 2 of their respective pools to advance to the playoffs and boost their chances to earn slots on the North Pacific Team that will compete in the 2018 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships in Fiji next month.

The CNMI has three other players entered in the boys U14 singles. Andy Kim split his two matches in Group B yesterday, winning over FSM’s Johnnyboy Sigrah, 6-0, 6-2, before bowling to Guam and No. 2 Thomas Ysrael, 0-6, 1-6. Isaac Heo was also 1-1 on Day 1, losing to FSM’s Deavyn Etscheit, 0-6, 0-6, before beating fellow CNMI player Ruma Lee, 6-3, 6-4. Lee also dropped his opener against No. 4 and Guam’s Dakota Gibson, 0-6, 1-6.

In the girls U14 singles, which has two groups, Anika Camacho won her debut after topping FSM’s Movida Jerry, 6-2, 6-3, while No. 1 seed Coume Kaga swept Ngelittle Silmai, 6-1, 6-1. Hye Jin Elliot bounced back from her opening loss to FSM’s Ridiane Wolphagen (4-6, 4-6) with a 6-2, 6-0 triumph over Camacho.

In other results, Sam Ryu, Malika Miyawaki, and Maria Gregoire got off to a good start in the U16 singles event. Ryu dominated FSM’s Jack Jack, 6-1, 6-0, while Miyawaki and Gregoire shut down Guam’s Paige Mantanona and Aprile Kim, respectively.

Meanwhile, in the U12 team event, the CNMI Boys clobbered FSM, 3-0, while the CNMI Girls 2 edged FSM Girls 2, 2-1.

FSM Girls 2 took the early lead when Shelly Palsis defeated the CNMI’s Dana Lee, 4-6, 6-2, 10-3. However, Ye Jin Son’s 6-1, 6-3 triumph over Arthisha Mallarme tied the match, and the former went on to hand the CNMI Girls 2 the win after teaming up with Palau’s Galya Mikel in topping the two FSM players, 6-2, 6-0.

In the boys division, the CNMI’s David Kwon and Anthony Gregoire were unscathed against FSM. Kwon cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Jeremiah Suliol, while Gregoire had a similar easy win over Israel Apis, 6-0, 6-0. Gregoire and Kwon also blanked the FSM bets in the doubles.

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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