THE Northern Marianas Badminton Association will make history tomorrow, Friday, as it hosts the inaugural NMI Badminton National Championships at the TSL Sports Complex.

Joseph Torres

Joseph Torres serves against Andreau Galvez — not pictured — in their singles game in the TakeCare Badminton Open at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium in October. Torres will play in the inaugural NMI Badminton National Championships this weekend at the TSL Sports Complex.

Forty-one players have signed for this weekend’s competition, which is supported by Badminton Oceania. The national championships will have games both in the men’s and women’s open and U19 divisions and will features singles, doubles, and mixed doubles plays.

“The Northern Marianas Badminton Association is grateful to Badminton Oceania for helping us hold this historic competition. This milestone is made more special by the continued participation of our young players in the NMI,” NMBA president Merlie Tolentino said.

The U19 division has drawn 18 players, while 23 have registered for the open category. This will be the second straight time the NMBA is holding a separate competition for U19 players after having junior division games in last month’s TakeCare Badminton Open.

“We are looking forward for the exciting games in the open division as this event will feature several players who are hoping to represent in NMI in the 2022 Pacific Mini Games that Saipan will be hosting. We wish all the players good luck,” Tolentino added.

Nathan Guerrero, who donned the NMI colors in the 2019 Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa is entered in the men’s singles and will be battling the division crown against Joseph Torres, Daniel and Ezekiel Macario, Jordan Pangilinan, and Noel Watiwat. The women’s singles open field, on the other hand, has Janelle Pangilinan, also a member of the NMI National Team to the previous Pacific Games, and Windy Fernandez and Hannah Choi, who made it to the champions circle in last month’s TakeCare Open.

Fernandez and Choi are also playing in the women’s doubles and will be up against Jennine Savellano and Pangilinan, Miles Guerrero and Malou Malasarte, Jen Cardino and Lucelle Lampera, and Michaella and Mikamaika Serrano. In the men’s doubles, Torres will team up with Pangilinan and they will be vying for the division title against the Macario siblings, Guerrero and Hajin Oh and Watiwat and JP Javier.

In the loaded mixed doubles play, the pairings are Nathan Guerrero and Janelle Pangilinan; Torres and Choi; Jordan Pangilinan and Malasarte; Lampera and Nico Antonio; Fernandez and Chris Hilario; Savellano and Ezekiel Macario; Daniel Macario and Miles Guerrero; Marielle Lim and Watiwat; and Cardino and Sefric Viloria.

In the U19 division, the men’s field has Paulo Quidato, Taka Borja, Kyle Salcedo, Vince Satur, Marlon Bautista, Ian Lubao, Danielle Pablo, and Joe Antonio. The girls division has five entries in Sophia Quintos, Gian Punzalan, Angel Reyes, Kiesha De Guzman, and Mikayla Lopez. All U19 players will also compete in the doubles and mixed doubles events. Draw and schedule of games will be announced Friday morning.

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