By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
ITS journey at the 2020 Badminton Asia Manila Team Championships may be over but for the Philippine women’s team it was a run it is grateful to have had for the valuable experience it got competing.
Officially eliminated in the tournament after dropping their second straight match in the tournament on Wednesday against Indonesia, 5-0, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, the Filipina shuttlers said their bid was akin to the journey being more important than the destination as they got to pit their skills against quality competition and see where they are at this stage of their development.
“This is huge for us getting the experience that we need. It truly helps if you get to compete in international competitions like this. As a player your morale is lifted because you play quality opponents and it helps you develop your game,” said Nicole Albo, in the vernacular, following their last outing.
Ms. Albo, a former most valuable player in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, provided one of the highlights for the Philippine team in its campaign, earning the only set won by the squad in the tournament.
The De La Salle University product got the Philippine contingent’s thrust versus Indonesia to a strong start, taking the first set of her match against top Indon player Gregoria Mariska Tunjung convincingly, 21-19.
But Ms. Tunjung would recover from the early setback, dominating the match in the next two sets, 21-11, 21-9, to hand Indonesia the 1-0 lead in the tie.
“Despite the loss, I think I did well in the game. We are up against a strong team and my opponent is ranked number one in the Indonesian team. I think I was able to give my best,” said Ms. Albo.
Other members of the Philippine women’s team are Sarah Barredo, Mika De Guzman, Geva De Vera, Ysay Leonardo, Chanelle Lunod, Bianca Carlos, and Thea Pomar.
Prior to the 5-0 loss to Indonesia, the Philippines bowed to Thailand in the opener on Tuesday, 5-0.
Quarterfinal play in the Badminton Asia Manila Team Championships begins today, with teams from Japan (defending women’s champion), Malaysia, Korea, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei and Singapore competing.
PHILIPPINE MEN’S TEAM HOPING
Meanwhile, the Philippine men’s team was awaiting its quarterfinal fate on Thursday.
Sporting a 1-1 record, the Filipino shuttlers was keenly waiting for the outcome of the Group C match between Chinese-Taipei and Singapore set for later yesterday.
A win by Chinese-Taipei would automatically send the Philippines to the quarterfinals while a victory by Singapore would see the quotient system being used to determine who get to advance to the next round.
The Philippine men’s team put itself in such a position after hacking out a gutsy 3-2 victory over Singapore on Wednesday.
Singles player Solomon Padiz gave the home team the go-ahead win in the best-of-five tie, defeating Weng Darrion Ng, 21-10, 21-19, in the final set of the match.
The UAAP Season 82 Rookie of the Year stormed out of the gates with smashes, stunning Mr. Ng with a dominant first set win.
Messrs. Ng and Padiz kept the second game close before the Filipino went into match point at 20-17. Though the Singaporean was able to cut the deficit to one, 19-20, off two errors, Mr. Padiz was not to be denied, smashing one home to seal the win.
“I just gave my best. There was nothing to lose. I’m happy we got the win,” said Mr. Padiz, a product of National University.
Also handing wins to the Philippines versus Singapore were the doubles tandems of Peter Gabriel Magnaye and Alvin Morada and Philip Joper Escueta amd Paul John Pantig.
The Badminton Asia Manila Team Championships is organized by the Philippine Badminton Association and is backed by Smart Communications Inc., MVP Sports Foundation, Leisure and Resorts World Corporation, Cignal and TV5.