Antonino Gadi and Paul Vivas pulled off victories in varying fashions to set up a second straight face-off for the men’s Open singles crown even as reversals rocked the girls’ Under-15 semifinals in the MVP Sports Foundation-Bingo Bonanza Philippine Badminton Ranking System (PBaRS) tournament in Davao City, Tuesday.
The top seeded Gadi hung tough and subdued No. 4 Peter Magnaye in the first set before completing a 21-19, 21-7 victory to reach the finals of the centerpiece event against Vivas at the Wheels ‘N More badminton courts.
The second ranked Vivas cruised to the finals with a walkover win over Joper Escueta, who also retired due to cramps in the third set against Rabie Jason Oba-ob in the U-19 quarterfinals Monday.
Gadi held off Vivas, 21-17, 16-21, 21-12, in the Bacolod leg finals but the latter is raring to get back at the country’s leading player in the third leg the nationwide circuit organized and conducted by the Philippine Badminton Association under Vice President and PBA president Jejomar Binay, Rep. Albee Benitez and businessman-sportsman Manny V. Pangilinan.
Gelita Castilo and Bianca Carlos likewise sealed an expected duel for the women’s Open singles title with similar straight-set wins in the semis of the event backed by official equipment sponsor Victor, exclusively distributed by PCOME Industrial Sales, Inc.
Castilo, seeking her first title after two runner-up finishes, thumped Bianca Legaspi, 21-10, 21-10, while Carlos, who beat Castilo for the crown in the Manila leg last March, outclassed Fatima Cruz, 21-6, 21-15.
While the fancied bets dominated the Open division of the event, supported 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, upsets marred the U-15 girls category with Whackers’ Joella de Vera upending top seed Isabel Leonardo of JLTC/Lining, 21-17, 21-15.
Not to be outdone, Amabel Sumabat of WWGBA, who finished joint third in the Bacolod leg, stunned second seed Louise Ramos of Golden Shuttle Foundation in a pulsating three-setter, 21-17, 20-22, 21-17, to gain a crack at the crown.
Joella’s sister Janelle de Vera, who earlier shocked second seed Ma. Victoria Vizmonte, also sustained her top form and repulsed joint No. 3 Gabrielle Ongcuanco, 21-13, 21-17, to reach the finals of the girls’ U-19 class against defending back-to-back champion Carlos, who downed GSF teammate Dia Magno, 21-12, 21-13.
Oba-ob, meanwhile, advanced to the finals of the boys” U-19 side by beating Jeffrey Foronda, 21-16, 21-16. He will dispute the title with second seed Wilbert Natividad of GSF, who foiled Kevin Cudiamat, 21-19, 21-13.
Markie Alcala of Allied/Victor also lined himself up for a third straight title in the boys’ U-15 category as he turned back JLTC/Flypower’s Joseph Manlalangit, 21-10, 12-21, 21-11, to set up a third showdown with second seed Alvin Morada of JLTC/Flypower, who also escaped with a 16-21, 21-14, 21-12 win over Patrick Gecosala of ETC-Space Shuttle Kidapawan.(pr)