Top seed Kevin Cudiamat survived the rash of upsets as Malaysian bets flexed their muscles in the FDG Cup 2015 Open and Invitational Badminton Championships at Powersmash in Makati City on Friday.
Cudiamat, who eased past Malaysian Wee Peng Sim in straight sets in the first round, struggled against Carlos Cayanan before pulling off a 20-22, 21-14, 21-10 victory to reach Last 16 phase of the four-day, ranking tournament sanctioned by the Philippina Badminton Association.
Meanwhile, London Olympics silver medalist Mizuki Fujii arrived on Friday and will see action with former world and Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat in tomorrow’s (Sunday) exhibition match with Frederick Go and former Olympian Kennevic Asuncion at Robinsons Place Manila.
The scary win set up Cudiamat for a match against another PBA Smash standout, John Pantig, who routed Vietnam’s Van Thanh, 21-9, 21-11, while nine other Filipinos advanced to the third round of the centerpiece event of the annual championship held in honor of Robinsons Land Corp. president and longtime badminton backer Frederick D. Go.
But four Malaysians poised themselves for a big finish as Cheerandeev Arutchelvan bundled out No. 4 Kevin Dalisay, 22-20, 17-21, 21-14; Qar Siong Yap repulsed No. 13 Alexis Geverjuan, 5-21, 21-10, 21-18; Shahzan Bin Muneer swept No. 14 Lorenzo Leonardo, 21-18, 21-17; and Jhothiswaran Karupathevan smothered Airom Punongbayan, 21-14, 21-13.
Japanese Tomoya Takashina also came away with a 22-20, 21-14 victory over No. 12 Ethan Malelang to barge into the Last 16 phase of the tournament that also features the women’s Open singles and the men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles, all being played at presstime.
Also on tap is the Invitational division, to be bannered by employees and business partners of RLC with competitions set in Classes A to F, which drew a total of 224 players.
The awards rites will be held at Century Park Hotel on Sunday starting at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, second seed Jayson Oba-ob blasted Ryan Dizer, 21-8, 21-10; Jon Masongsong whipped Jade Sarmiento, 21-10, 21-14; Wilson Lopez thumped Solomon Padiz, 21-13, 21-6; Frell Gabuelo crushed Ronald Ongcuangco, 21-14, 21-10; Alvin Morada toppled Randolf Balatbat, 21-13, 21-13; R-Jay Ormilla repulsed Malaysian Ikmal Bin Jaafar, 21-18, 17-21, 21-7; Ross Pedrosa downed Joshua Bernard, 21-9, 21-7; and Carl Clemente turned back Neil Pineda, 18-21, 21-18, 21-19; to join Cudiamat, Pantig, the four Malaysians and Takashina.
Focus will also be on young ace Mark Alcala, a double gold medalist in last week’s Philippine National Games, who subdued Paul Vivas, 21-17, 21-17, to stay in the title hunt.