Saipan International School and Hopwood Middle School 1 recorded contrasting semis wins in the TakeCare Insurance Interscholastic Badminton League to arrange their title duel for the middle school championship this Saturday at the TSL Sports Complex.
The top-seeded Hopwood 1 dominated No. 4 ranked Francisco M. Sablan Middle School in their semis match last Saturday, 12-3, while No. 2 SIS foiled an all-Hilitai finale after outclassing No. 3 Hopwood 2 in the other Final Four pairing, 10-5. The Hopwood 1-SIS title showdown will be played this Saturday, starting at 2:15pm with the finalists competing in the boys and girls singles and doubles and mixed events.
The Geckos swept the first three events in their playoff match against Hopwood 2 to advance to the finale. Lina Tsukagoshi and Julie Chavez teamed up in the girls doubles and handed SIS the win over Maria Quidato and Roxlynn Ferrer, 11-4, 11-1. A straight game win gives the prevailing squad three points, while two markers are awarded for a three-game victory with the loser getting a point.
Tsukagoshi delivered three more points for SIS when she swept Jerica Manuel in the girls singles, 11-8, 11-3, while Hunter DeRocher and Frank Li added another three markers following an 11-9, 11-6 triumph over Jiang Zhi Xiang and Guan Juan Hao in the boys doubles. Hopwood 2 then recovered from three straight losses when Marlon Bautista won against Jacky Lui in the boys singles, 11-10, 8-11, 11-1, and Lin Jung Yong and Charmaine Bautista slipped past DeRocher and Chavez, 6-11, 11-9, 11-10.
In the Hopwood 1-FMS semis collision, the former prevailed in all four of the five events.
Anas Wasee and Munim Abdul scored the first win in the match when they outlasted Hopwood 1’s Miguel Castro and John Quidato in the boys doubles, 11-7, 10-11, 11-5. However, that was it for FMS, as Hopwood 1 took over to reach the finals.
Princess Pedrano and Shamriah Hicaro defeated Sisther Fred and Shaina Malonzo in the girls doubles, 11-3, 11-8; Theresa Lin Ahn topped Malonzo in the girls singles, 11-10, 9-11, 11-10; Quidato swept Wasee in the boys singles, 11-9, 11-4; and Ahn and Quidato partnered in beating Adbul and Chrisha Marciano in the mixed doubles, 11-10, 11-8.
Hopwood 1 advanced to the semis after topping the round-robin preliminaries with its 59-16 record. SIS came in at second with its 52-23 mark and was followed by Hopwood 2 (50-25), FMS (37-38), Tinian Junior High (24-51), and Tanapag Middle School (3-72).
MHS 1 leads
Meanwhile, Marianas High School 1 is assured of one of the four semis berths, as it finished the prelims with a 61-14 record. SIS has a 54-21 card, while Saipan Southern High School has a 38-37 mark, and MHS 2 has a 22-38 slate with one game left (against Tinian). Kagman High School so far was 10-35 with two games remaining, while Tinian has three more left and holds a 7-38 slate.
The remaining round-robin games will be played this Saturday morning, while the title and consolation matches are scheduled in the afternoon.