Defending champion Gelita Castilo and Sarah Barredo eased out their respective quarterfinal rivals in similar fashions to arrange another showdown even as Mariya Sevilla and Airah Albo dispute the other finals slot in the Open women’s singles of the Bingo Bonanza National Open Badminton Tournament at Glorietta 5 Atrium in Makati City on Thursday.
The third ranked Castilo, playing out of UP, overwhelmed Shane Salvador with her power game and came away with a 21-11, 21-14 romp to seal a semis duel with the No. 2 Barredo, who sustained her run of straight wins with a 20-minute demolition of fellow PBA-Smash mainstay Arianne Rivera, 21-11, 21-6.
Castilo upended Barredo in a thrilling decider, 21-17, 14-21, 21-19, to snare the crown in last year’s revival of the country’s premier badminton championship sponsored by Bingo Bonanza and organized by EventKing Corp. But Barredo got back at Castilo last July, scoring a 21-15, 21-14 victory to capture the FDG Cup crown.
That makes their semis face-off on Saturday worth watching, together with the Sevilla-Albo duel after the unranked Sevilla of Maynilad-Allied/NVBA kept her amazing run with a 21-10, 21-8 win over Tricia Pomar and the fourth seeded Albo of PBA-Smash held off a rallying Aldreen Concepcion, 21-8, 22-20.
Also being disputed at press time are the quarterfinals berths in the Open men’s singles with top seed Kevin Cudiamat battling No. 6 Kenneth Monterubio; No. 2 defending champion Mark Alcala colliding with Alvin Morada; No. 3 Kevin Dalisay slugging it out with No. 78 Frell Gabuelo; and No. 4 R-Jay Ormilla mixing it up with No. 5 Jason Obaob.
Meanwhile, quarterfinals action heats up today with joint third seed Peter Magnaye and Jessie Francisco of PBA-Smash clashing with Joper Escueta and Indonesian Keshya Hanadia in the mixed doubles starting at 10:30 a.m., also at Glorietta 5.
The second seeded tandem of Alvin Morada and Alyssa Leonardo faces fellow PBA-Smash mainstays Carlos Cayanan and Alyssa Geverjuan for the fourth semis berth in the tournament sanctioned by the Philippine Badminton Association headed by Vice President Jejomar Binay and sec-gen Rep. Albee Benitez.
Top seed Francisco and Eleanor Inlayo also step up their semifinal bid in women’s doubles as they slug it out with Indonesians Marissa Vita and Hanadia while No. 2 Aires Montilla and Kristelle Salatan of Team Prima tangle with Aldreen Concepcion and Susmita Ramos of Allied-NVBA.
No. 3 Leonardo and Thea Pomar, also of PBA-Smash, collide with Klowie Garcia and Hanah Tudtud of FEU/Equiparco-BBC, while No. 4 pair of Descka Calimlim and Fatima Cruz of Meralco battle Danica Bolos and Jennifer Cayetano of Victor-PCOME/Air Force in the last quarterfinal pairing.
Capping the fourth day of the P1.5 million championship, backed by Gatorade, Glorietta, Smash Pilipinas and the Philippine Olympic Committee, is the lone Open men’s doubles match pitting Magnaye and Paul Vivas against fellow PBA-Smash standouts Joaquin Deato and Vincent Manuel.
The semis will be held Saturday with the finals in the men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles set Sunday.