Members of the NMI National Badminton Team pose for a photo before starting their training session Wednesday at the TSL Sports Complex.

(NMBA) — The Northern Marianas Badminton Association has selected 14 individuals to play for the NMI National Badminton Team that will compete in the Pacific Mini Games 2022 that the Commonwealth will host this June.

The men’s squad will be headed by Nathan Guerrero, who represented the islands in the Samoa Pacific Games in 2019. Joining Guerrero on the team are fellow Pacific Games veteran Andreau Galvez, Jordan Pangilinan, and siblings Ezekiel and Daniel Macario. Completing the men’s crew are Leonard Isaiah Manuel and youth player Paulo Jerome Quidato. All seven have been training for the past several months and have actively participated in the NMBA-organized events last year, including the inaugural NMI National Badminton Championships.

In the women’s side, Janelle Pangilinan will suit up for the national team anew after debuting in the Pacific Games three years ago. Her teammates are Jenine Savellano, Jeanelyn Cardinio, Patricia Nicole Surima, Windy Ann Fernandez, and sisters Michaella and Mikamaika Serrano.

“We would like to congratulate the 14 players for making it to the NMI National Badminton Team. We look forward to their continued commitment to the national squad as they prepare for the Mini Games and do their best to represent the NMI well. We are excited to see our players compete in front of the home crowd,” NMBA president Merlie Tolentino said.

The Pacific Mini Games 2022 will run from June 17 to 25 with the badminton competition taking place from June 20 to 25 at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. 

Badminton will have six events — team, men’s and women’s singles and doubles, and mixed doubles.

As of Dec. 2021, Guam, Cook Islands, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Wallis & Futuna are the  countries or territories that have confirmed their participation in the badminton competition.

Nathan Guerrero said the NMI team is excited for the opportunity to challenge players in the region and with a little over four months left before the tournament unfolds, they will have to push themselves harder to be battle ready.

The NMI National Badminton Team started training as a group on Monday and will focus on strength and conditioning training for the first two months of the year.

Players undergo training sessions three times a week and they are also scheduled to compete on Guam next month to gauge their readiness for the Mini Games.

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