Team White sweeps Team Pink, gets finals berth


Nate Guerrero goes for a backhand return, while teammate Chris Hilario stands back during their men’s B doubles game against Rodwealth Espana and Jojo Savellano in the Sun Palace tournament last Friday at the TSL Sports Complex. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Team White showed no mercy to Team Pink, winning all the 10 division games in their duel last weekend in the 2016 Sun Palace Badminton Team Tournament at the TSL Sports Complex.

Chris Hilario and Nate Guerrero kicked off Team White’s string of victories after sweeping Rodwealth Espana and Jojo Savellano in the men’s B doubles, 21-17, 24-22, last Friday.

Team White’s four other wins last Friday were also posted after only two games. In the men’s C singles, Hajin Oh topped Taeho Kim, 21-11, 215; Jordan Pangilinan and Malou Malasarte defeated Jen Savellano and Daniel Macario in the mixed A doubles, 21-16, 21-16; Guerrero and Oh downed Espana and Jun Banadera in the men’s BC singles, 21-15, 21-16; and Nicole Malasarte thwarted Cristy Villaflor in the women’s B singles, 21-16, 21-13.

The remaining five matches in the Team White-Team Pink pairing took place last Saturday with the winning squad playing to let up to complete the sweep. Hilario and Alyssa Velasco made it six in a row for Team White when they slipped past Kim and Villaflor in the mixed BC doubles, 21-15, 16-21, 21-19. The women’s BC doubles also went the distance with Team White’s Nicole Malasarte and Lani Santos outlasting 21-16, 18-21, 21-19.

After playing extended matches in the first two pairings, Team White’s bets took the short route to victories in the last three games. Pangilinan and Guerrero made short work of Macario and Espana in the men’s AB doubles, 21-16, 21-13; Hilario and Malasarte edged Joe and Cheng Saturno in the mixed B doubles, 21-16, 21-17; and Taka and Oh triumphed over Kim and Banadera, 21-15, 21-16.

With the sweep, Team White scored a commanding 28-2 victory against Team Red and hiked its record to 78-27 after adding the 8 points it got against Red last Sunday.

Team White and Team Red played the first five games in their pairing with the former winning three of them for a slim 8-7 advantage. The last five matches will be played today, but regardless of the results of these games, Team White is already assured of the first finals berth. The Top 2 teams in the standings after the round-robin elimination will battle for the championship and Team Red (70-35/excluding point deductions based on tournament rules) is likely to challenge Team White for the title as the three other squads (Black, Pink, and Blue) are way down the ladder.

Results of Team Red’ games and other pairings over the weekend will be reported later this week.

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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