Former No. 1 Malvinne Ann Alcala sets out against Jeline Masongsong, former national champion Bianca Carlos tests Luisa Baldos’ mettle while Cassandra Lim faces Andrea Ricacho in three of the featured matches kicking off the 2016 FDG Cup Badminton Championships today at Power Smash Badminton Center in Makati.
Alcala, a former Singapore Junior champion who used to dominate local badminton, is on a comeback trail, hoping to use her experience against a slew of talented young players making up the current national pool, headed by Sarah Barredo, Nicole Albo, Mariya Sevilla and Arianne Rivera.
The top four players drew opening round byes in the 32-player women’s Open singles draw with the top-seeded Barredo taking on the winner in the Rae Concepcion-Marinel Dalisay duel; No. Albo battling the victor in the Feeby Ferrer-Joy Capillo clash; No. 3 Sevilla colliding with the winner in the Maxine delos Santos-Shane Salvador faceoff; and No. 4 Rivera squaring off with the victor in the Virginia Lopez-Janina Francisco clash.
Hostilities fires off at 9 a.m. at various courts at Powersmash which also features top matches in the full-packed men’s Open singles draw headed by top seed and defending champion Mark Alcala and No. 2 Kevin Cudiamat.
A number of foreign players are also competing in the event, which also stakes ranking points, the four-day tournament, held in honor of Robinsons Land Corp. president Frederick G. Go, being sanctioned by the Philippine Badminton Association.
Also on tap are the women’s and men’s Open doubles and the mixed Open doubles along with the Invitational division, composed of employees and the invited business partners of RLC with seven categories on tap, including Elite, Class A, B, C, D, E and F.
World women’s doubles No. 8 Selena Piek and Eejfe Muskens, meanwhile, will highlight the final day of the 13th staging of the annual event as they play against Kennevic Asuncion and Go in exhibition matches on Sunday.
The elims and quarterfinal rounds will be played until Saturday at Power Smash with the semifinals and finals slated at Midtown Atrium of Robinsons Place Manila on June 12. Gracing the mall event are Gretchen Ho, Yeng Constantino and Daniel Matsunaga.
The awards rites will be held Century Park Hotel, also on Sunday, starting at 7 p.m. with Maja Salvador as host and Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola as special guest performers.