Marianas Baptist Academy tops Academic Challenge Bowl

FOR the second year in a row, Marianas Baptist Academy won the Academic Challenge Bowl, middle school division which was held at Saipan Southern High School on Saturday.

According to MBA teacher and coach Manny Castro, this is the third time they’ve won the championship. The first was in 2014.

Composed of team captain Joanah Victoria B. Jimenez, Keith Gester Villasin, Lyndon Digno, Deancy Adriel Y. Chua and Sebastian Dearborn L. Bernardo, the MBA team bested 11 public and private middle schools.

MBA garnered a total score of 845 from 135 questions, covering mathematics, science and technology, arts and literature and current events.

MBA battled it out with Saipan International School, Grace Christian Academy and Agape Christian School in the second and final round.

In an interview, Castro said he thanked God for guiding them and for giving them the perseverance to work hard.

“Whenever we practiced, we prayed first. I gave them a lot of materials. I studied too and then I imparted [what I’d learned] to my students. I really pushed them hard. Sometimes they would tell me, ‘Mr. Castro is too much.’ Now I think they see the results of what we worked for.”

Castro thanked their pastor and school principal, Ramiro Trinidad, for supporting them and the students’ parents who provided food when they were practicing for the competition.

Team captain Joanah Victoria B. Jimenez thanked Castro for leading them to victory. “After school, we practiced. When we didn’t have class, we practiced. Sometimes, even on Saturday, we practiced. It was difficult balancing it with our regular lives, but I’m really proud of my team and our coach for the effort. It paid off.”

Castro said Jimenez, who is also the CNMI math champion, was off-island for the Christmas holiday, and arrived on Saipan two weeks before the Academic Challenge Bowl.

“We practiced while she was off-island,” Castro said. “And I gave her materials so that she could study while off-island.”

Castro said the next step is the national competition. “If the Public School System will again support us so we can compete in the national competition in the states, we will probably go. Last year, that’s what happened. I am not assuming, but I am hopeful that they [PSS] will support us again.”

Standings after first round

1) Marianas Baptist Academy, 330 points

2) Agape Christian School, 305 points

3) Saipan International School and Grace Christian School, 290 points

4) Saipan Community School, 255 points

5) Mount Carmel School, 225 points

6) Northern Marianas International School and Dandan Middle School, 220 points

7) Francisco M. Sablan Middle School and Green Meadows School, 205 points

8) Hopwood Middle School, 200 points

9) Chacha Oceanview Middle School, 185 points

Final round results

1) Marianas Baptist Academy, 845 points

2) Saipan International School, 800 points

3) Grace Christian Academy, 760 points

4) Agape Christian School, 725 points

Source: Marianas Variety :

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