MALVINNE “Poca” Alcala, who has drawn comparisons to former basdminton stars Weena Lim and Kennie Asuncion, has confirmed her participation in the P1.5 million Bingo Bonanza National Open badminton starting on Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Center.
A former Singapore and Australian Juniors champion, Alcala is tipped to crowd the top-ranked bets in the women’s singles owing to her form, power and class.
Since she has been busy campaigning abroad seeking ranking points for a shot at the Olympics, Alcala has not been seeded in the women’s singles headed by young Airah Nicole Albo, Sarah Joy Barredo, Pauline Tan and Monica Rivera.
Gelita Castilo, another veteran campaigner and Alcala’s teammate at Allied Victor, is also seeing action along with Samantha Ramos of Golden Shuttle Foundation, Allysa Geverjuan and Mariya Sevilla of Smash Pilipinas, Ateneo’s Cassandra Lim, Janelle de Vera and Dia Magno, Kristina Tan of GSF and Samantha Santos of Ateneo.
Many-time champion Toby Gadi banners the 64-player field in the men’s singles, with Kevin Cudiamat seeded No. 2, Jayson Oba-ob third, Ros Pedrosa No. 4 and R-Jay Ormilla fifth.
Focus will also be on young Mark Alcala, who won the Singapore Youth International last month. Also vying in the event are Kenneth Monterubio, Kevin Dalisay and Wilson Lopez II.
Swiss International champions Peter Magnaye and Paul Vivas, meanwhile, lead the men’s doubles cast, although the Joper Escueta-Ronel Estanislao pair was seeded No. 1.
Malvinne Alcala and Castilo are also teaming up for the women’s doubles, bannered by the tandems of Jessie Francisco and Eleanor Inlayo, and Aires Montilla and Kristelle Salatan while the Ronel Estanislao-Joella de Vera and Paul Pantig-Thea Poma tandems head the 32-pair mixed doubles field of the tournament sponsored by Bingo Bonanza and organized by EventKing Corp.