Aces vie in VP Binay GP Badminton Open

The cream of the country’s badminton crop and a slew of rising stars mix it up one last time this year as they battle for supremacy and national ranking in the VP Binay Grand Prix Badminton Open Championships-PBaRS 4th leg slated Oct. 23-29 at PowerSmash in Makati.

The upcoming week-long event serves as the culmination of a four-leg circuit that took off in Makati last March and swung to Bacolod and Davao in May and July, respectively, to provide the players a series of top-level tournaments and at the same time give those in the provinces the chance to compete against the best and gain ranking points.

Co-presented by MVP Sports Foundation and Robinsons Land Corp., the VP Binay GP caps the PBaRS series of tournaments put up by Vice President and Philippine Badminton Association president Jejomar Binay, Rep. Albee Benitez and businessman-sportsman Manny Pangilinan in their collective effort to bring the sport to a higher level and produce world-class players.

Registration is ongoing with deadline set on Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. at the PBaRS office (20. E. Maclang St. San Juan).  For details, visithttp://www.pbars.com. The elims will be held at Powersmash in Makati with the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals to be played either at the Philsports Arena or Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Events on tap are the Open, Under-19 and Under-15 divisions in the men’s and ladies singles and men’s and ladies doubles and mixed doubles categories.

Open men’s singles champion Antonino Gadi and U-15 singles titlist Markie Alcala are expected to lead the title chase as they go for a rare sweep of the four legs of the circuit sponsored PLDT Smart Foundation, Robinsons Mall, Bingo Bonanza Corp., Gatorade and official equipment sponsor Victor, exclusively distributed by PCOME Industrial Sales, Inc.

Gelita Castilo, who finally clinched the elusive win in PBaRs-Davao leg after two runners-up finishes in the ladies Open singles, is also tipped to headline what could be a blockbuster cast in the distaff side that includes Manila leg champion Bianca Carlos and Bacolod stage winner Malvinne Alcala.

Carlos is also out to complete a sweep of four legs in the U-19 girls singles while others set to see action are U-19 leg boys winners Joper Escueta, who topped the Manila and Bacolod legs, and Davao stage champion Wilbert Natividad along with U-15 leg champions Joella De Vera (Manila and Davao), Louise Ramos (Bacolod).

Other titles to be disputed in the event, organized by the Philippine Badminton Ranking System and backed by media partners The Philippine STAR, TV5, Badminton Extreme Philippines Magazine, Jam 88.3, Wave 89.1, Magic 89.9, 99.5 RT and 103.5 WOW! and TV-5, are the men’s and ladies doubles and the mixed doubles in the Open, U-19 and U-15 categories.

A total prize fund of P1 million will be up for grabs in the event, which ranks the players according to their strength and performance, with Open champions getting P70,000 and the U-19 and U-15 winners receiving P20,000 and P10,000, respectively.(pr)

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