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    Wednesday, November 20, 2019-11:28:52A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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NMI badminton players bring home medals

(NMBA) — Northern Marianas Badminton Association members Nicole Malasarte and Janelle and Jordan Pangilinan had an impressive performance in Badminton Invitational Guam 2019 held over the weekend at the John F. Kennedy High School Gymnasium.

Malasarte and Janelle topped the open women’s doubles division after defeating the Philippines’ Jocelyn Rentillo and Lyzel Querol in the best-of-three finals, 2-1. Janelle also played in the championship game in the open mixed doubles category, teaming up with her brother, Jordan. The siblings settled for the silver medals after

losing to Guam’s Jinsha Yao and C.J. Estipona.

Click to enlarge
The CNMI’s Janelle Pangilinan, center, and Nicole Malasarte, right, join Guam National Football Federation official Sunardi Li for a group photo after receiving the gold medal in the open women’s doubles division of Badminton Invitational Guam 2019 held over the weekend at the John F. Kennedy High School Gymnasium.  Contributed photo

“I wasn’t able to play in the Guam tournament two years ago, so it was great that I finally came there to compete and win with Nicole,” said Pangilinan, adding that the event in Guam was very timely, as it was just a few months after she and the six other members of the CNMI National Team played in the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa.

“Coming from the Pacific Games in Samoa made me even more competitive. I learned a lot from the Pacific Games and that helped me play well in the tournament in Guam,” she added.

NMBA president Merlie Tolentino congratulated Malasarte and the Pangilinan siblings for bringing home medals and other members of the team for representing the association well. She also thanked the Guam National Badminton Federation for inviting NMBA anew to compete in Badminton Invitational Guam 2019.

“Competing in off-island tournaments give our players the opportunity to gauge their development and find out what area of their game needs improvement so they could keep up, if not surpass, with their counterparts in Guam and other players in the region. We welcome this kind of tournament, especially after we were not able to hold local competitions late last year and in the first half of 2019, we focus on the recovery efforts from Yutu,” Tolentino said.

She also praised GNBF for involving NMBA players in the Guam Special Olympics 2019, the program that had players working with persons with disabilities.

“Our players managed to share their knowledge and skills in the sport to persons with disabilities, making their trip to Guam more meaningful,” added Tolentino, recalling a similar outreach program that NMBA took part in a few years ago.

NMBA used to join summer camp involving children, including those with disabilities, with its players and coaches conducting badminton drills and games for participants.

“We will try to explore talks with concerned groups to hold similar programs for children and the youth as we continue to find ways to grow the sport in the CNMI,” Tolentino said.