After two years of cancellations and uncertainty due to COVID, the Moore League was finally able to celebrate its badminton teams with three days of competition as the Moore League finals commenced at Millikan.
The three-day event turned out to be a banner week for the Poly badminton team that concluded on Wednesday with the mixed doubles championship.
It was a memorable effort for the Jackrabbits team that completed its second straight undefeated season but earned its first Moore League team title during their undefeated run after the league didn’t crown a champion the last season.
The Jackrabbits are the first team to win the title since Cabrillo took the trophy home in 2019.
Poly’s senior Prongha Talukder had a week to remember that started when he claimed the boys’ singles title when he defeated his Poly teammate junior Juan Vasquez 21-8, 21-10.
“This felt great,” Talukder said after falling in the finals last year. “Credit to all my opponents. It was great to play my teammate Juan. Especially after all the training we’ve done over the last year.”
Gervyn Fuertes defeated Wilson’s Abhishek Jain 23-21, 11-21, 21-14 to claim third-place in the boys singles event.
Poly senior Maryssa Tan also had a week to remember after she defeated Poly teammate Krista Lim to claim the girls’ singles title.
“I’ve never beaten (Krista) before,” Tan said. “It’s the first time I’ve beaten her. I woke up and thought to myself ‘What if this is the first time I beat her?’ and that kind of motivated me because I wanted it to be the first time I beat her.”
Tan and Lim met again in the finals on Wednesday when Lim and Talukder defeated Albert Lee-Thieng 21-19, 21-11 to claim the mixed double title.
In a thrilling third-place match, Wilson’s Maura Dark defeated Jasmin Ramos 22-20, 22-20.
Poly’s week was complete there as Albert Lee-Theng and Vinny Por defeated Lakewood’s Brandon San and Ivan Khensovan 20-22, 21-17, 21-18 for the boys’ doubles title.
It was a special day for Por who was able to win in front of some of his former teammates that were present for trophy ceremony.
“The last two years I have lots of alumni that I personally know,” Por said. “I hold them very close to my heart and they weren’t able to experience this event and these awards for what they did. I attribute this and winning this contest to them.”
Cabrillo’s Peter Sison and Ronald Encanto defeated teammates Jedrek De Guzman Chistopher Gomez 21-17, 21-17 in the third-place match.
Lakewood claimed the girls doubles title thanks to the connection between juniors Karen Tan and Amanda Choy who have been friends since the fifth grade.
“We happened to go to the same high school, so we decided to join the badminton team together and we found out that we have really good chemistry,” Choy said.
That chemistry was clear as the duo defeated Cabrillo’s Princess Culas and Autum Yang.
In the third place match, Wilson’s Audrey Cao and Angelina Lopez defeated Poly’s Soriyah Sam Nioni England 21-19, 22-20.