TOBY Gadi and Bianca Carlos try to keep their crowns against a tough field in the P1 million MVP Sports Foundation-Philippine Badminton Ranking System (PBaRS) starting on Friday at the Excel Badminton Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Close to 400 players have signed up for the five-day tournament, including members of the national pool and a big batch of rising junior players out for recognition and ranking points staked in the event sponsored by MVP Sports Foundation.
Gadi and Carlos, both of Golden Shuttle Foundation, swept the premier Open singles titles in last year’s series and hope to hold off an elite field that also features Paul Vivas, Peter Magnaye, Patrick Natividad and Charlo Tengco in the men’s singles, and Gelita Castilo, Janelle de Vera, Nikki Servando, Jen Cayetano, Dia Magno and Danica Bolos in the ladies side.
Top seed Jose Lorenzo Yason and No. 2 Clarence Filart lead the boys’ singles field along with Mark Alcala, Jon Masongsong and Kyle Gosiaco while Carlos also heads the cast in the girls’ Under-19 category along with No. 2 Patrisha Malibiran, Ma. Victoria Vizmonte, Pauline Escobar and De Vera.
Ronald Ongcuangco and Sarah Barredo banner the cast in the Under-15 division of the country’s only ranking badminton 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.
Backing the event are Gatorade, Vineza, Sincere Construction, Victor Pcome Industrial Sales and Krav Maga Philippines with TV 5, The Philippine Star and Badminton Extreme Philippines Magazine as media partners.
Other clubs fielding players are Yappies Smashes Badminton Group, Team Prima, Cami Shuttlers, Smash Degress Phils., Escoses Training Camp, Excel Badminton Center, Whackers Badminton Academy, Dare 4:13 Badminton Academy, UP Diliman, Allied Victor/UP, Precision Badminton, Space Shuttle Kidapawan, USLS Merci/Li-Ning Bacolod.
Also vying are players from Victor PCOME, GCC Partners, City Shuttle Junior, City Shuttle-JB, Xavier University, MSI Jr. Team Babolat, JFTC, CKSM/JLTC, Corpus Christi, Hundred Islands BC, Babolat, JB/Li-Ning La Salle Antipolo, La Salle-St. Benilde, Cabugao BC, and the Philippine Badminton Association.
For details, contact the PBaRS office at 20 E. Maclang cor. P. Guevarra Sts., San Juan City at 7252568 and 7828202, according to PBaRS tournament director Nelson Asuncion.