Gelita Castilo dished out a gem of a game to stop Nikki Therese Servando, 21-11, 21-11, while Patrick Natividad overcame a first-set loss to frustrate WIlfredo Amoroso Jr., 19-21, 21-11, 21-19, to reach the finals of their respective divisions in the Open class of the first Philippine Badminton Ranking System (PBaRS) tournament at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, Saturday.
Castilo, the top Li-Ning/PNP bet who dominated Marilou Romero, 21-11, 21-7, in Friday’s quarterfinals of the premier division, used her height advantage and a variety of shots to shake off Servando, who whisked off Cassandra Lim, 21-16, 21-9, in their own side of the quarters duel.
But against Castilo, Servando, playing out of Victor-PCOME, struggled with her shots and missed gaining a crack at the top P70,000 purse staked in the tournament sponsored by MVP Sports Foundation-Goal Pilipinas!, Bingo Bonanza Corp. and Victor.
Castilo will take on the winner of Danica Bolos and Bianca Carlos being played at presstime.
Natividad, playing out of Golden Shuttle Foundation, rebounded from an opening set setback with a dominant game in the second before outlasting Amoroso in a pulsating decider to stay on track of the crown. He will next face the victor between Antonino Gadi and Paul Vivas, also being disputed at presstime.
Carlos, another GSC bet, also repulsed Danica San Ignacio in another tough three-setter, 21-16, 15-21, 21-10, to gain the first finals berth in the U-19 girls singles. A victory over Bolos will keep her on course for a golden double in this ranking tournament backed by PLDT-Smart Foundation, Victor PCOME Industrial Sales, Gatorade and Powersmash.
Alvin Morada, meanwhile, took the first championship slot in the U-15 boys singles, as the JLTC mainstay held off Keeyan Gabuelo, 22-20, 21-10, in their semis encounter.
Meanwhile, the finals in all divisions will be held at 1 p.m. today, also at Ynares with the top finishers gaining precious ranking points heading to the second leg of the four-stage circuit on May 29-June 4 in Bacolod. 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