THE Philippine Badminton Association hopes to add more events to the regular tournaments it held last year as it tries to revive the popularity of the sport.
PBA national team manager Jackie Cruz said the PBA established five tournaments last year for senior players in hopes to reinvigorating the sport after enjoying immense popularity in the past years.
Cruz said the popularity of badminton dropped because the PBA was not able to hold a tournament for three years and they are now trying to boost the sport.
“Dati, sa mga sporting goods store, sa sampung linya ng raketa, saw along tennis, dalawang badminton nagsimula. Nung pumasok ang 90s na ang mga warehouse, naging badminton courts, nabaligtad,” said Cruz in an interview with mediamen during PBA’s Christmas and New Year party at the Meralco Lighthouse on Friday night.
“Pero recently, bumalik sa dati nung nagsarahan ang mga badminton courts. Ang assessment namin, dahil walang tournaments na inoorganize ang association. Tatlong taon talaga, zero ang tournaments ng PBA.”
“Nung pumasok kami, ang unang assignment sa amin ay mag-organize ng maraming tournaments,” said Cruz, who also works under the Manny V. Pangilinan group of companies.
Pangilinan is the chairman of the PBA, while the PBA president is vice president Jejomar Binay.
So far, the PBA is scheduled to once again hold its regular tournaments starting with the Prima Pasta Open in February and the FDG Cup tournament named after Robinson’s Land president Frederick Go in May or June.
Also on the PBA’s schedule is the Philippine National Games, the MVP Smart Open sometime in July and the Bingo Bonanza Open in November hosted by PBA secretary general and Negros Occidental representative Albee Benitez.
The holding of PBA-sanctioned tournaments paved the way for the establishment of a ranking system that determines the composition of the national team for international tournaments.
“Ang importante sa amin ay naka-establish kami ng ranking. Mahirap dati kung paano piliin ’yung dadalhin sa international tournament. Pero pinilit namin na magkaroon ng ranking system,” said Cruz.
During the party, athletes in the top 500 in the world rankings were given an incentive by the PBA led by Paul Vivas and Peter Magnaye, the pair that won the men’s doubles of the Swiss International Badminton Championship last year.