Top seed Toby Gadi and No. 2 Paul Vivas kick off their respective title campaign in the men’s Open singles of the P1 million VP Binay Grand Prix Badminton Open Championships-PBaRS fourth leg on Monday even as four-peat seeking Bianca Carlos opens her bid in the Under-19 side at Powersmash in Makati.
Gadi, eyeing a sweep of the four-leg circuit, hopes to come out strong as he takes on Kevin Alcantara at 10 a.m. while Vivas, seeking an end to Gadi’s reign in the centerpiece event, battles Allen del Mundo at 11:40 a.m. in the lower half of the 128-player draw.
The event, co-presented by MVP Sports Foundation and Robinsons Land, got under way yesterday with over 100 matches played, including those in the Open, U-19 and U-15 men’s, women’s, boys and girls’ singles, which were marked by a number of three-set decisions.
Malvinne Ann Alcala scored a walkover win over Ann Eufemio, so did Alizandra Candelaria agaisnt Jean Aguila in two of the girls U-19 matches that also saw Carissa Obnial, Danica Enriquez, Diane Castro, Marie Garcia, Danica Pelegrino, Anna Alba, Grace Lim, Thaila Aguilar, Isabel Fernandez and Flo Lamigo get past their respective rivals.
Obnial repulsed Gabrielle Zerna, 15-21, 21-11, 21-11; Enriquez downed Marie Batiles, 19-21, 21-8, 21-12; Castro subdued Camille Gotohio, 21-18, 18-21, 21-11; Garcia turned back Elainne Vinluan, 21-9, 17-21, 21-7; Pelegrino rapped Selina Sandiego, 21-9, 21-18; Alba dominated Marin Rosette, 21-10, 21-9; Lim outplayed Jonamae Juanillo, 214, 21-12; Aguilar held off Erielle Chua, 21-23, 21-14, 21-6; Fernandez beat Kriz Reyes, 21-5, 21-6; and Lamigo dominated Alyssa Rubio, 21-10, 21-14.
In boys’ U-19 singles, Isaac Leonardo thwarted Spencer See, 21-16, 11-21, 22-20; Reden Cuden survived Kyle Gosiaco, 21-19, 24-22; Isaac Orellano nipped Jimbo Flores, 17-21, 21-19, 21-16; Gen Fabro edged Jeffrey Iquina, 21-19, 17-21, 21-11.
Third seed Gabriel Magnaye also tries to get going in the premier clas as he plays Reden Cuden while No. 4 Joper Escueta, a two-leg winner in the boys’ Under-19 class, collides with Ramon Dalo in the tournament
capping the four-leg circuit sponsored by PLDT Smart Foundation, Robinsons Mall, Gatorade and official equipment sponsor Victor, exclusively distributed by PCOME Industrial Sales, Inc.,
Other matches pit No. 5 Wilfred Natividad against Angelo Ticala, sixth seed Jaime Junio against Jaime Villanueva, No. 7 Aries delos Santos versus Andrei Babad and eighth ranked Kevin Dalisay against Jon Masongsong.
Carlos, meanwhile, squares off with Thea Pomar in the girls’ U-19 singles which she dominated in the first three legs although she expects a tougher campaign this week with Elisha Ongcuangco, Victoria Vizmonte and Althea Osorio, the next three seeds, out to foil her sweep bid.
Ongcuangco duels with Aliya Castillo, Vizmonte takes on Clarissa Pascual and Osorio tests Niña Zamora’s mettle in the event put up by Vice President and Philippine Badminton Association president Jejomar Binay, Rep. Albee Benitez and businessman-sportsman Manny Pangilinan.
Joelle de Vera, winner of the first and three legs of the girls Under-15 category, faces Zaira Santiago, second seed Alyssa Leonardo takes on Angelamae Morales while No. 3 Louise Ramos mixes it up with Sarah Barredo in the featured group of future stars.
National ranking points are at stake in the week-long event as well as cash prizes with the winners in the Open division getting P70,000 each and the U-19 and U-15 champions receiving P20,000 and P10,000, respectively.
The event, sanctioned by the PBA and supported by the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission, is 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.(pr)