PBaRS tourney fires off on Sunday

Joper Philip Escueta
Jana de Vera

The chase for badminton national ranking points begins Sunday, March 27 with the country’s leading players, rising stars and fresh faces slugging it out in various divisions in the P1 million Philippine Badminton Ranking System (PBaRS) tournament at PowerSmash in Makati City.

Former national players Melvin Llanes, Lloyd Escoses and Jaime Llanes; current Phl team members Joper Escueta, Paul Vivas, Peter Magnaye, Janelle de Vera and Patricia Barredo; and the talented bunch of Antonino Gadi, Gelita Castilo, Cassandra Lim and Nikki Servando and Kelvin Panganiban, Cassandra Lim and Carlo Remo head the mix of the veteran, current and junior stars disputing top honors in the Open, Under-19 and Under-15 divisions of the eight-day event serving as the kickoff leg of a four-stage nationwide circuit.

Matches start at 8 a.m. with Escueta clashing with Randolph Balatbat; Gadi taking on Salvador Kapunan; Escoses battling Joel Estrada; Magnaye squaring off with Gian Manuel; and Vivas colliding with Ryan Reyes in the featured matches in the men’s singles of the Open category.

In the ladies side, Castilo faces Mayen Chua; Barredo mixes it up with Kristine Cornista; De Vera tests Bianca Calos’ mettle; Lim takes on Pia Fabros while the Bacolod-based Servando drew an opening round bye and will battle the winner of the Carlo Lizardo-Bianca Legaspi duel in the second round.

Organizers of the tournament, sponsored by MVP Sports Foundation-Goal Pilipinas!, Bingo Bonanza Corp. and Victor, said the series of events is aimed at raising the level of play in the country and at the same time coming up with a truly national ranking system that would be used to determine the players who will compose the national team to various international competitions.

“The importance of the ranking is to measure the consistency of each player yearly. With the scheduled dates given at an early time, players can now train and excel on every leg, hence making the ranking more reliable,” said tournament chairman Nelson Asuncion.

Under the new system, the PBaRS will provide a clear and organized method of ranking players through the staging of a series of top-notch Open national tournaments where players can earn ranking points. This will give equal opportunity to players to compete and be recognized. The more tournaments to join, the more points are accumulated with each win, thus, top ranking players can now be objectively defined.

The event, sanctioned by the Philippine Olympic Committee, the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Badminton Association, also offers big prizes with the winners in the Open class receiving P70,000 purse and the victors in the U-19 and U-15 divisions getting P20,000 and P10,000, respectively.

The finals of the first leg of the circuit, backed by PLDT-Smart Foundation, Victor PCOME Industrial Sales, Gatorade and Powersmash with The Philippine STAR, TV5, Badminton Extreme Philippines Magazine,
Jam 88.3, Wave 89.1, Magic 89.9, 99.5 RT and 103.5 WOW! as media partners, will be held at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. For details, contact 725-2568 or telefax 725-4942 or log on to www.pbars.com.

Action shifts to Bacolod on May 29-June 4 for the second leg while Davao will host the third stage on July 31-Aug. 6 for players in the provinces to get the chance to play in top-level competitions.

The circuit, designed to raise the Filipinos’ level of play and come up with a truly national ranking system, will culminate in the VP Grand Prix Badminton Open Championships on Oct. 22-29 in Manila.PR

Peter Gabriel Magnaye

 

Nikki Servando
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