TAIWANESE top seed Chiang Pei-hsin slugs it out with local bet Danica Peligrino while joint No. 2 Lili Wang of China and Indonesian Asifa Nur Farisma face off with Maryann Maranon and Kim Jarabelo on Saturday in the opener of the FDG Cup Open and Invitational badminton tournament at Powersmash Badminton Center in Makati.
The foreign bets are expected to dominate the action in a busy first round of the two-weekend championship which drew 225 players, including four Malaysians and two Indonesians seeded joint first in the tough men’s Open singles, being held for the first time along with the ladies, in this 11th staging of the annual tournament, a ranking event sanctioned by the Philippine Badminton Association.
Top local ace Toby Gadi is seeded No. 7 followed by Kevin Cudiamat, Rabie Oba-ob, Ros Pedrosa, R-Jay Ormilla, Kevin Dalisay, Wilson Lopez and Kenneth Monterubio.
Chiang and Peligrino clash in the 9 a.m. opener along with matches pitting joint No. 8 Angela Sevilla against Karla Palma, No. 7 Joy Barredo versus Dia Magno, and Isa Tan against Camille Gotohio while Wang, a regular local campaigner, collides with Maranan at 9:10 a.m. Farisma, on the other hand, battles Jalabelo at 9:40 a.m.
Joint No. 1 Dea Adirangga of Indonesia kicks off his campaign in the men’s singles against Joseph Odullo at 10:10 a.m. while Malaysian ace Mohammad Arif Ab Latif tests Jojo Malelang’s mettle at 10:30 a.m. followed by the match between Malaysia’s Kay Ee Yeoh against Alexis Geverjuan at 10:40 a.m., Jinn Ye Tan, also of Malasyia, versus Ck Clemente at 11:30 a.m., Ahmadi Binn Abdul Saman against Jeremiah Katoh at 11:40 a.m. and Ruddy Kondoy of Malasyia against Akishite Hilario at 12 noon.
Other matches on tap in the event, backed by Smart Live More, Smash Pilipinas, the PNRS and Partners Cup with Li-ning as the official shuttlecock, are the Open mixed doubles and the Open men’s doubles.
Bianca Carlos, one of the top local singles players, is entered only in the Open mixed doubles and women’s doubles of the event held in honor of Robinson’s Land Corp. president Frederick D. Go, a longtime supporter of the sport and a badminton enthusiast.
The Open singles winners will receive P60,000 (men’s) and P40,000 (ladies), the men’s doubles winners will get P100,000, while the women’s doubles and mixed doubles champions will receive P60,000 and P80,000, respectively.
The Partners Cup, held side by side with the Open category which features employees and business partners of the RLC, will be held next weekend along with the Invitational tournament, will also serve as the highlight where Chinese Wang Lin and Wang Xin, both former world women’s singles No. 1, will team up with FDG and some of the country’s current and former top players in exhibition matches.