Malvinne Ann Alcala primed up for next week’s World Juniors by sweeping the ladies Open and girls Under-19 singles titles while Toby Gadi and Markie Alcala each pulled off a four-peat at the close of the VP Binay Grand Prix Badminton Open Championships-PBaRS fourth leg at Philsports Arena recently.
Alcala, 16, survived a spirited first set challenge from Bianca Carlos then held on to essay a tough 22-20, 21-16 victory and capture her second ladies Open singles crown in the P1 million event presented by MVP Sports Foundation and Robinsons Land.
“I had to play it safe for most part and go for sure shots since Bianca is hard-working and so fast,” said Alcala of Phl-Victor in Filipino, who also bested the field in the second leg of the four-stage circuit organized by Philippine Badminton Ranking System in Bacolod.
She won P70,000 and re-staked her claim as the country’s top player although she settled for No. 3 in the official national ranking after missing two of the other legs in the nationwide circuit that ranked players according to their performance and strength.
Alcala later repeated over Carlos, 21-14, 21-10, in the U-19 finals for another P20,000 in victories that augured well for her campaign in the World Juniors in Taiwan Nov. 2-6.
Vice President and Philippine Badminton Association president Jejomar Binay handed over the prizes and trophies to the winners during awards rites of the event sponsored by PLDT Smart Foundation, Robinsons Mall, Gatorade and official equipment sponsor Victor, exclusively distributed by PCOME Industrial Sales, Inc.
In men’s Open singles, Gadi thwarted Gabriel Magnaye in a tense contest, hacking out a 21-15, 13-21, 23-21 victory marked by close calls at endgame of the 58-minute encounter.
The Golden Shuttle Foundation mainstay won another P70,000, his fourth after completing a sweep of the premier class of the tournament put up by VP Binay, Rep. Albee Benitez and businessman-sportsman Manny Pangilinan in their collective effort to produce world class players.
The younger Alcala also scored a four-peat in the boys’ Under-15 singles of the tournament sanctioned by the PBA and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee, repeating over Alvin Morada, 21-16, 21-12.
Third seed Samantha Louise Ramos shared the spotlight as she completed her upset run over the top two seeds in girls U-15 category, repulsing No. 1 Joelle de Vera, 21-17, 14-21, 21-14. The GSF bet also booted out No. 2 Alyssa Leonardo, 21-19, 21-15, in the semis.
Joper Escueta turned his highly anticipated duel with Wilbert Natividad into a one-man show as he fashioned out a 21-12, 21-7 romp to re-claim the boys U-19 crown and the top ranking in their division.
The event, 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, offered P70,000, P20,000 and P10,000 to the winners in the Open, U-19 and U-15 divisions, respectively, according to PBaRS tournament director Nelson Asuncion.(pr)