Ateneo’s Bianca Carlos outduelled Malvinne Ann Alcala of UP while Sarah Joy Barredo trampled fellow PBA Smash Pilipinas mainstay Angelique Ramos with a superb all around game as they set up a showdown for the Open women’s singles crown in the P1.5 million Bingo Bonanza National Open Badminton Tournament on Saturday.
Carlos, a former National Open champion and many-time 19-U titlist, leaned on her power game, superb footwork and court coverage to foil Alcala, 21-15, 21-10, before a big weekend crowd, moving into a gold medal match with the top-seeded bet whom she upended in a recent big tournament.
Barredo, who romped off with easy victories on her way to the semis, sustained her form and overwhelmed Ramos, 21-17, 21-13, to gain another crack at the crown after nipping Nicole Albo in last year’s finale of the annual top-ranking tournament sponsored by Bingo Bonanza.
But the national team mainstay will be hard-pressed against Carlos, who thwarted her in three to clinch the FDG Cup title last June, when they dispute the crown and the top P100,000 purse in today’s (Sunday) finals of the annual event backed by official equipment Victor, exclusively distributed by PCOME Industrial Sales, Smash Pilipinas and the Philippine Olympic Committee.
Straight-set romps also marked the penultimate playdate of what had been a thrilling competition that saw a number of reversals, including the ouster of the fancied bets, led by No. 1 Alvin Morada and Alyssa Leonardo in the Open mixed doubles, top seed Kevin Cudiamat and No. 4 Orlan Ticala in the Open men’s singles, and fourth seed Mike Minuluan and Alem Palmares in the Open men’s doubles.
Ronel Estanislao and Indonesian Keshya Hanadia advanced to the mixed doubles finals with a 21-15, 21-16 victory over Hanz Bernardo and Chantelle Lunod, who stunned Morada and Leonardo in the quarters. Estanislao and Hanadia will face the PBA Smash tandem of Peter Magnaye and Indonesian Devi Permatasan, who routed Melvin Llanes and Eleanor Inlayo, 21-13, 21-14, for the crown and the top P120,000 prize in the event sanctioned by the Philippine Badminton Association headed by president Jejomar Binay and sec-gen Rep. Albee Benitez.
Clarence Filart added No. 6 Solomon Padiz Jr. to his list of victims, scoring a 21-11, 21-17 triumph to seal a title duel with third seed Ros Pedrosa in the Open men’s singles.
The win came on the heels of Filart’s stirring come-from-behind 9-21, 21-15, 22-20 victory over Cudiamat Friday, putting the Ateneo ace closer to a dream title run in the country’s premiere badminton championship.
But standing in his way is Pedrosa, another PBA Smash Pilipinas stalwart, who upended second seed Frell Gabuelo, 21-9, 21-8, in their side of the semis duel.