For team captain Andreu Galvez, Shirley’s Badminton Club winning the 2021 TanHoldings Badminton Team Tournament was a happy and proud moment since it’s the first time many of his teammates have ever taken part in a Northern Marianas Badminton Association tournament.
“We were so happy and excited to each receive a gold medal from the NMBA board and tournament committee. It was a happy and proud moment because we have players that just got a taste of their first ever NMBA team tournament and it is an accomplishment for them that they will remember for a long time especially it comes with the desire to look forward for more major events,” he said.
Galvez and company received their championship medals during the 2021 TanHoldings Badminton Team Tournament awards ceremony last Friday at the Gillette Multi-Purpose Gymnasium
Joining Galvez in the podium were Shirley’s teammates Lance Gallardo, Walker Wang, Jerry Tan, Leonard Manuel, Windy Fernandez, Loida Ito, Rowena Shouck, Irish Pagarao, Roxe Lazaro, Jadel Ignacio, Gladys Dacumos, Joseph King, Jerome Malasarte, and Perry Lei.
Galvez made special mention of Lei, Wang, and Gallardo’s contributions to their victory. “Lei never gives up on a play. Wang is not only a skilled player but more importantly a team player and supporter, while Gallardo gave us a lot of greats plays.”
He also praised new players who got their first taste of a major NMBA tournament. “Gladys Dacumos, Jadel Ignacio, Leonard Manuel, and Joseph King all displayed outstanding performances, shown a lot of team love and support, and a lot of potential growth in the sport.”
Jannelle Pangilinan, 2021 TanHoldings Badminton Team Tournament director, thanked tournament sponsor TanHoldings for bankrolling the team tournament and everyone who made the two-day competition a success.
“This tournament was my first in being part of the tournament committee. It was an honor on getting involved with the sport the I love. Thank you also to TanHoldings for a successful tournament. It brought back many players and new players as well. Also to my teammates (national team) for helping me to make this happen,” she said.
Galvez, who like Pangilinan is also a director of NMBA, said everyone not only members of Shirley’s were winners for having taking part in the tournament after a year of no competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This also goes to the other team players who are new or experienced this tournament as their first ever major tournament from NMBA. I think all participants showed tremendous performances as everyone was excited after over a year long absence of major NMBA tournaments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
NMBA president Merlie Tolentino was extremely pleased that the federation was finally able to organize a tournament following the uncertainties of the past year.
“NMBA is pleased with the turnout—73 players and five team—for our first tournament of the 2021 season and also our first competition since we suspended badminton activities in March last year. NMBA is happy that despite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, our federation was able to bring back our regular members to the court and also encourage new players to try the sport,” she said.
Shirley’s finished on top of the heap with 50 total points, followed by Golden Racquet Badminton Club (37 points), Taga Badminton Club (35 points), United Badminton Club (29 points), and Community Badminton Club (28 points).