BADMINTON Asia has awarded the Philippines the hosting rights for the third Badminton Asia Team Championships, set to take place from February 11 to 16 at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
For Badminton Asia Chief Operating Officer Chit Boon Saw, he believes that the Philippines is currently undergoing another boom in the sport, and that's why it was time for it to host the continental meet.
"I think the Philippines is one of the fastest-developing nations in badminton. And it is good to bring an event like this in a developing badminton country," said Saw. "The game can be promoted to the masses better with an event like this."
The last time the country hosted an international event was in 2001 in the Asian Badminton Championships held at the Philsports Arena.
Aside from being a qualifier for the Thomas (Men's) and Uber (Women's) Cups set in Denmark this May, the tournament will also be one of the last chances for the shuttlers to accumulate points in order to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
With this, over 290 shuttlers from all over the continent are expected to arrive -- headlined by defending men's champion Indonesia and women's champion Japan.
Fifteen men's teams and 14 women's squads will compete in the biennial meet. Each division will be divided into groups of four with the top two teams in each group advancing to the knockout stage.
The team format is a best-of-five encounter with three singles matches and two doubles matches.
Saw sees this tournament as an opportunity for the Philippine national team to gain new experience in the sport.
"I hope the Philippine team takes this as an opportunity to learn and grow in the team event. As you know, there are not a lot of team tournaments in the world so this will be a good opportunity to learn on your home court," he said as the Philippines went 1-2 in the men's side and 0-3 in the women's division during the 2018 edition of the meet.
Moreover, on behalf of Badminton Asia, the executive is confident that the Philippine Badminton Association is going all out in making this event that will host some of the world's best shuttlers a success.
"I think it will be a successful event because of the venue and the people working in the event. The venue is really suitable. I believe that it will be a good hosting," said Saw.