By Jon Perez
Organizers of the upcoming Northern Marianas Badminton Federation team competition are thanking the sponsors that have thrown their support in the season-ending event, which opens on Oct. 6 at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
NMBF vice president Edwin Montoya and tournament coordinator Rey Julongbayan where one in saying that the support provided by Pacific Telecom Inc., Traders Insurance, Labtech, Pure H20, Sun Palace, Admaran International, Salon de Manila, Tan Holdings, SaipanCell Communicaitons, BME & Sons Construction, Coral Ocean Point, Shirley's Coffee Shop, Pacific Marine, and Marianas Brokers Inc. will go a long way to help the fledgling group promote the Olympic sport of badminton, specially to the local youth.
The NMBF is a two-year-old organization that also aims to develop badminton at the grassroots level and hopefully in the next five years, send one or two local players as representatives to international competitions.
Montoya said although the CNMI is experiencing tough economic times there are still some businesses that are willing to help and support local sporting events specially badminton.
Montoya added that the NMBF is looking forward for another successful tournament as it prepares for the 2008 season.
The NMBF has grown rapidly to a total of 150 members since its creation in Feb. 24, 2005.
As of press time, Julongbayan and the rest of the tournament committee are meeting to finalize all concerns regarding the opening of the league-type games on Saturday.
Julongbayan said that he is requesting the team captains or designated representatives to attend a meeting tomorrow, Oct. 4, for the final briefing of the opening ceremony of the tournament.
Julongbayan is requesting all 64 players competing in the inaugural league-type team competition to attend the opening rites on Saturday, which starts promptly at 5pm and players are requested to be at the Ada Gym 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.
The drawing of the teams that will play on opening day will be done after the ceremony. There are seven teams in the league-type tournament, which is expected to end on Nov. 17.
One team will have a bye in the Saturday-only games. The tournament format will have one team play four events of seven games in one day consisting of one men's singles, two games each in the men's and women's doubles, mixed doubles, and one open event. It will be anything goes in the open event, where team captains can field their strongest players.
It will be a round-robin type tournament where one team will play against the six other squads. Each team in any of the seven games will accumulate wins with the squad that has the most wins declared champion. Cash prizes and trophies await the Top 3 finishers.
Saipan Mayor Juan B. Tudela will be the NMBF's guest speaker, while House Speaker Oscar Babauta and a representative from the Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association will also be attending the opening ceremony.
Early this year, the NMBF held the Inaugural Traders Insurance/PTI Cup Badminton Tournament with 27 pairs being honored in the month-long tournament.
The NMBF held its first tournament on Oct. 9, 2006, where close to 40 players joined the five-day competition.
For more information, call Montoya at 288-1436 or Julongbayan ar 235-0576, or email at NMBF@yahoogroups.com.
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By Jon Perez