• SEAG-bound team hones up in ‘Bingo’ Open


    The 2016 Bingo Bonanza National Open Badminton Tournament firing off next week will not only be a showcase of the country’s top players and rising stars but also serves as part of the national team’s buildup for next year’s Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia.

    National team head coach Paulus Firman expects the country’s elite players to dominate the P1.5 million championship set October 17 to 23 at the CW Home Depot Ortigas and SM Megamall. He added the tournament is also part of the national team players’ exposure for next year’s SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur where he hopes the Filipinos will finally contend for a medal against some of the world’s top players.

    “I think we have a very good chance of at least competing for a bronze in the men’s doubles,” said Firman. “But everything also depends on the draw.”

    Tournament director Nelson Asuncion said ranking points will be up for grabs in the week-long event, this being the country’s premier championship which features members of PBA Smash Pilipinas and the national pool with a slew of other talented players from the provinces also out to make their mark.

    Possible inclusion in the national team also awaits the top finishers in various divisions of the event sponsored by Bingo Bonanza Corp. and sanctioned by the Philippine Badminton Association headed by president Jejomar Binay and sec-gen Rep. Albee Benitez.

    Meanwhile, the schedule of matches will be posted today (Friday) while the coaches, team managers and players’ meeting will be held on October 16 at the LWRC 26F West Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Center in Ortigas.

    The qualifiers and quarterfinals will cover five days of action at the

    CW Home Depot before the tournament, backed by Victor PCOME as the official equipment, SM Megamall, Smash Pilipinas and the Philippine Olympic Committee, moves to the SM Megamall for the semis and finals on October 22 and 23.

    Sarah Joy Barredo sets out for a title repeat in women’s Open singles while a wide-open race looms in the men’s side in the absence of last year’s champion Mark Alcala, who is in the US, leaving the likes of national team players Kevin Cudiamat, Frell Gabuelo, Ros Pedrosa, Solomon Padiz Jr. and Emilio Mangubat Jr. and Team Prima’s R-Jay Ormilla and Orlan Ticala to dispute the crown.

    Out to foil Barredo are fellow PBA Smash Pilipinas mainstays Mariya Sevilla and Nicole Albo, Charmane Salvador of Makisig Badminton Academy, Bianca Carlos of Ateneo and former Singapore Junior champion Malvinne Alcala of UP.

    The top collegiate and club players from Metro Manila and the different provinces will also join the hunt for the winners’ purse of P100,000 for the men’s and women’s singles champions and P120,000 for the men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles of the event sanctioned by the Philippine Badminton Association.


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