Alcala draws tough rival in World Jrs opener

Malvinne Ann Alcala will have her hands full when she opens her World Juniors Championships campaign tonight (Wednesday) as she drew joint fifth seed Sonia Su Ya Cheah of Malaysia in one of the ladies singles matches in Chinese-Taipei.

The 16-year-old Alcala, coming off a sweep of the Under-19 and Open singles titles in the PBaRS’ VP Binay Cup Badminton Championships, hopes to come out strong in her 6:55 p.m. duel with one of the leading junior players of talent-rich Malaysia in the upper half of the 128-player event which features the world’s leading Under-19 players.

Janelle de Vera, who reached the quarterfinals of the girls’ U-19 class in the Binay Cup, kicks off the Philippine team’s bid in the week-long tournament as she takes on England’s Emily Westwood in the lower bracket at 10:45 a.m.

De Vera, whose campaign along with the other Filipino bets are sanctioned by the Philippine Badminton Association, later teams up with Kevin Cudiamat as they slug it out with Singpore’s Asraf Ishak and Wei Han Tan in the mixed doubles at 1:05 p.m.

Cudiamat, joint third placer in the boys’ U-19 division in the PBaRs fourth leg, also sees action in the boys’ singles against Russian Anatolly Yartsev at 3:25 p.m.

Joper Escueta, the country’s No. 1 junior player, draws an opening round bye and will face the winner of the Jason King Ching Lo and Tolga Oszoy clash in the second round.(pr)

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