Joper Escueta kicked off his title drive in two divisions with a pair of straight-set victories in the MVP Sports Foundation-Bingo Bonanza Philippine Badminton Ranking System (PBaRS) tournament which got under way yesterday at the Pohang Badminton Courts in Bacolod City.
Escueta, seeking a second straight championship in the Under-19 category, toppled UP-Diliman’s Gio Fajardo, 21-7, 21-1, to lead the charge of the fancied bets in the early going of the weeklong tournament serving as the second leg of the four-stage nationwide circuit.
Earlier, Escueta, one of the national team members who saw action in last week’s Sudirman Cup, trounced Allied-Victor’s Joshua Monterubio, 21-9, 21-11, to launch his campaign in the Open division ruled by fellow Phl team mainstay Antonino Gadi in the circuit’s inaugurals last March.
Markie Alcala, the U-15 singles champion, turned back Golden Shuttle Foundation’s Miguel Ramos, 21-11, 21-15, to open his bid in the tougher U-19 class of the P1 million event, a project of Vice President Jejomar Binay, Rep. Albee Benitez and businessman-sportsman Manny Pangilinan to create a ranking tournament among the Filipino players.
Others who advanced in the U-19 men’s singles were Paul Malata of Iloilo Valiant Badminton Club, Clarence Filart of GSF, Miguel Leonardo of JLTC/Flypower, Kevin Cudiamat of Phl Team/Victor, Paolo Infante of WWGBA, Christian Sison of Whackers, Gerard Sibayan of Phl Team/Victor, Josh Escubio of IVBC, Robert Aloyan of Jaguar Badminton Academy, JC Clarito and Jose Martinez of La Salle, Julius Sta. Ana of Bulacan State U and Joshua Monterubio of Allied/Victory.
Malata repulsed Joseph Lopez, 21-14, 19-21, 21-14; Filart downed Adrian Esclabanan, 21-12, 21-5; Leonardo beat Luigi Herida, 21-7, 21-9; Cudiamat topped Theodore Co, 21-9, 21-9; Infante held off Lance Osorio, 21-10, 21-11; Sison defeated Alexander Maganis, 2115, 21-10; Sibayan outplayed Christian Uy, 21-9, 21-7; Escubio won over Raphael Deato, 21-19, 21-7;
Aloyan turned back Gerard Calbario, 21-17, 21-14; Clarito whisked off Jeff Monton, 21-9, 21-8; Martinez trounced John Medina, 21-10, 21-13; Sta. Ana outsteadied Kyle Gosiaco, 19-21, 21-16, 21-17; and Monterubio tripped Paul Tan, 21-15, 21-12.
Others who gained in the Open division of the tournament, 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, were Carlos Cayanan, Edson Malaki, Roden Rivera, Andrei Babad, Carlos Hojilla, Toru Takeuchi, Carlo Remo, Ben Cajefe, Jose Benipayo, Jornellous Castro, Paolo Sunga, Rjay Ormilla, Ernesto Layao Jr., Aries delos Santos, Charlo Tengco, Christian Torres, Rabie Jason, Lloyd Escoses and Nico Saquin.
Also on tap in the event, sanctioned by the Philippine Olympic Committee, the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Badminton Association, are the ladies singles and boys and ladies doubles and mixed singles in the Open, U-19 and U-15 divisions.
U-19 and U-15 divisions getting P20,000 and P10,000, respectively.PR