Malvinne Ann “Poca” Alcala sets out as one of the favorites both in the women’s Open and girls’ Under-19 singles as action in the eighth leg of the MVP Sports Foundation-Philippine Badminton Ranking System (PBaRS) tournament fires off beginning today at Powersmash in Makati City.
Alcala, the former Singapore and Australia junior champion and considered as the country’s leading badminton player, failed to see action majority of the circuit to campaign abroad but made herself available for this week’s event which offers cash prizes and ranking points.
The national team mainstay, who also led Team Philippines to a 12-gold medal haul in the 21st Annual Junior International Championships – Wes Schoppe Memorial in Manhattan Beach, California, USA last August, gets to strut her wares at 11:30 a.m. today when she mixes it up with Glyvette Etis of La Salle in girls’ U-19.
Top seed defending champion Bianca Carlos and No. 2 Patricia Malibiran, both of Golden Shuttle Foundation, drew opening round byes in the 64-player field in the U-19 class of the tournament sanctioned by the Philippine Badminton Association headed by Vice President Jejomar Binay with sportsman Manny V. Pangilinan as chairman and Rep. Albee Benitez as secretary general.
Carlos is also the defending champion in the centerpiece women’s Open singles, a compact 16-player draw where Alcala will open her bid against Dia Magno, also of GSF, on Monday.
Hostilities in boys’ U-19 and U-15 kick off the action at 9 a.m. with matches in men’s Open singles set at 10:40 a.m. pitting Mark Borja vs Jonas Serrano. Mark Magboo vs Jerome Serrano, Alberto Hilario vs Kenneth Monterubio, James Ramirez vs Marc Fajardo, Alexis Geverjuan vs Sean Chan, Joseph Panes vs Jose Mangubat and Vincent Tan vs Adrian Rigonan.
The first three days will be held at Powersmash while the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals will be played at Robinsons Place on Oct. 29-31, according to PBaRS tournament director Nelson Asuncion.
For details, contact the PBaRS office at 20 E. Maclang cor. P. Guevarra Sts., San Juan City at 7252568 and 7828202.