TOP seeds Ronel Estanislao and Paul Vivas recovered from a second-set loss to survive fellow national mainstays Joper Escueta and Ariel Magnaye and make the semifinals of the Open men’s doubles of the FDG Cup Open and Invitational Badminton Championships at Powersmash in Makati.
Estanislao and Vivas beat the Escueta-Magnaye team 21-15, 16-21, 21-11 on Friday after outlasting Toby Gadi and I Komang Wijaya, 21-17, 24-22, in the Last 16.
Escueta and Magnaye routed Winston Aquilo and Tums Gabuelo, 21-9, 21-10, to advance to the round of four of the centerpiece event offering a record purse of P200,000.
Andrei Babad and Paul Pantig went through a cliffhanger to fend off Kevin Dalisay and Christopher Flores, 21-19, 25-27, 21-16, and arrange a semifinal clash with Estanislao and Vivas in the top-level event held in honor of Robinsons Land Corp. president Frederick D. Go.
Meanwhile, Go teamed up with world No. 5 men’s singles player Simon Santoso of Indonesia in an exhibition match with the world No. 4 mixed doubles tandem of Tontowi Ahmed and Liliyana Natsir on Saturday.
Santoso, third in this year’s Indonesian Open Grand Prix Gold, later partnered with local ace Kennevic Asuncion against the Ahmed-Natsir tandem in highlight matches of the two-day tournament that featured the cream of the country’s crop and rising stars.
Ahmed and Natsir are the All England Badminton Open mixed doubles title-holders and winners of this year’s Indonesian Open Grand Prix.
The Ateneo-RLC pair of Patrick Natividad and Indon Perdian Fascal Rusman ousted second seeds Ariel delos Santos and Gabriel Villanueva, 21-5, 21-12.
The win set up a semis showdown with national team members Carlos Cayanan and Gerald Sibayan, who held off Vinci Manuel and Alvin Morada, 22-20, 22-20.