Second seed Sarah Barredo of Smash Pilipinas and Gelita Castilo of Allied Victor bundled out their respective rivals yesterday to arrange an interesting showdown for the women’s Open singles crown in the P1.5 million Bingo Bonanza National Open badminton tournament at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Center on Saturday.
A day after pulling off a shock 21-17, 24-22 victory over fancied and Allied Victor spearhead Malvinne Alcala, the 15-year-old Barredo sustained her impressive form and overpowered Mary Ann Maranon of Allied Victor, 21-11, 21-18, to advance to the championship round of the centerpiece division of the tournament sponsored by Bingo Bonanza and organized by EventKing Corp.
For her first crack at the National Open crown, Barredo will take on another Allied Victor mainstay Castilo, who likewise kept the momentum of her big reversal of top seed Airah Albo in the second round and dominated third seed Pauline Tan, 21-10, 218, in their side of the semis clash in the top-ranking event sanctioned by the Philippine Badminton Association.
Barredo actually finished second behind Wang Lily of China in the Smart Invitational Cup last August.
“I almost won the Smart Cup last August but I lost in three sets to Wang [Lily],” said Barredo, winner of the 17- and 19-U titles in this year’s Philippine National Games.
“Hopefully, I could win one this time,” added Barredo, whose mother, Teresita, is an employee of the Philippine Sports Commission.
Ranged against Castilo in today’s [Sunday] finals starting at 1 p.m., Barredo hopes to reassert her mastery over her 20-year-old rival, whom she beat in the quarters of the Smart Cup.
“I made her [Castilo]) run the last time we played. I hope I could do that again,” said Barredo, also Palarong Pambansa gold medalist.
On the other hand, Castilo, a Hotel Restaurant Management freshman at FEU, is out for a payback not only for her Smart Cup loss but also for teammates Alcala and Maranon’s losses to the second-seeded ace.
“That’s my motivation. If I could stay aggressive, I will have my chance,” said Castilo.
Later in the day, Castilo teamed up with Alcala in downing top seed Jessie Francisco and Eleanor Christine Inlayo of Smash Pilipinas, 21-16, 21-9, as they booked the first seat in women’s doubles finals.
It will also be a Smash Pilipinas-Allied Victor duel in men’s finals as No. 5 R-Jay Ormilla held off seventh ranked Kevin Dalisay in a thriller of a match, 21-19, 22-20, and unranked Mark Alcala, winner of the recent Singapore Youth crown, overwhelmed Allied teammate No. 6 Kenneth Monterubio, 21-13, 21-15, in yesterday’s semis duels.
In mixed doubles, Smash’s Peter Gabriel Magnaye and Jessie Francisco turned back fellow national team mainstays Alvin Morada and Alyssa Ysabel Leonardo, 16-21, 21-14, 21-17, to advance to the finals.
Magnaye and Francisco will take on Smash’s Paul Jefferson Vivas and Eleanor Christian Inlayo, who slammed Aries delos Santos and Aries Amor Montilla, 21-16, 21-19, in the other semifinals pairing.