NORTHERN MARIANAS BADMINTON ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASE
The Northern Marianas Badminton Association brought the sport back to its first home after holding the IT&E Badminton Team Tournament at the Gilbert. C. Ada Gymnasium last July 30 and 31.
When NMBA was founded in 2006, it hosted games at the Ada Gym for years before the group moved to the TSL Sports Complex. It has been more than a decade now since the NMBA last held a competition at the Ada Gym and the association plans to continue utilizing the facility in preparations for the Pacific Mini Games 2022 that the CNMI will be hosting.
“The tournaments that we will be holding this year and next will serve as dry-runs for our hosting of the badminton competition in the Pacific Mini Games 2022. We are preparing our players as well as our officials and prospective members of our logistic team so we want to hold as many tournaments as we can at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium, which will be the venue of our competition in the Mini Games,” NMBA president Merlie Tolentino said.
During the IT&E Badminton Team Tournament, NMBA used four courts and put temporary lines at the facility. For the Mini Games, NMBA is proposing to put up five courts with one allotted for warm-up. Appropriate court surface (removable flooring) will also be installed at the Ada Gym, which will undergo renovations this year with completion date set for early next in time for the Mini Games that will be held from June 17 to 25.
Janelle Pangilinan, who coordinated the IT&E event and is looking to represent the CNMI anew in the Mini Games after competing in the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa, said that her fellow players struggled a bit while playing at the Ada Gym because it’s been awhile since they last had games at the facility.
“But we love the high ceiling and it’s a great opportunity for us to get the feeling of playing in a bigger venue. Players are hoping that better lights will be installed and lines will be much brighter as we hold more competitions, especially at the latter part of our preparations for the Mini Games. It’s great that we get to play at the Ada Gym this early so we would know what should be done to get the facility ready,” Pangilinan said.
The badminton competition in the Pacific Mini Games 2021, based on the initial entry by numbers provided to the Pacific Mini Games Organizing Committee, will feature 12 countries and 108 players. The countries that have expressed interest in sending teams to the CNMI for the Mini Games include the Cook Islands, Guam, Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis & Futuna, and Tahiti. The badminton competition will have the team men’s and women’s singles and doubles, and mixed doubles events.