THE country’s leading players headed by Malvinne Ann Alcala, Gelita Castilo, Toby Gadi, and Joper Escueta showcase their talent and skills in doubles play as they vie for top honors in the P1 million FDG Cup Open and Invitational Badminton Championships next week at Powersmash in Pasong Tamo, Makati City.
Alcala, the Singapore Juniors champion, teams up with Indonesian Lily Wang while Castilo joins forces with Dia Magno in the 29-pair Open women’s field.
The event set Oct. 5 and 6 drew a total cast of 393 players, including national team players, members of the Philippine national pool and mainstays of various collegiate teams.
Bianca Carlos, winner of the Open and Under-19 crowns in the Cebu leg of the Philippine Badminton Ranking System last May, will play alongside Indon I Komang Wijaya, heading the field in the 32-team Open mixed doubles of the annual tournament held in honor of Robinsons Land Corp. president Frederick D. Go.
Gadi, who swept the first five Open men’s singles in the PBaRS circuit, will also have Wijaya as partner as they banner the 53-team Open men’s double cast that also includes Escueta and Ariel Magnaye, last year’s runner-up Ariel delos Santos and Gabriel Villanueva and defending champions Ronel Estanislao and Paul Vivas.
To spice up the event staged by the business partners of RLC in cooperation with the Partners Cup as part of FDG’s continuing commitment to help develop and promote the sport, organizers have invited world No. 5 Simon Santoso and reigning All England Badminton Open mixed doubles champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir to play exhibition matches with Frederick D. Go and Kennevic Asuncion on the final day.
Former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and doubles specialist Koo Kean Kiat of Malaysia graced last year’s staging of the event.
This year’s event stakes a P200,000 prize for the men’s doubles champions, P40,000 more than last year’s prize.
The mixed doubles winners will get P120,000 while the ladies doubles champions will receive P90,000, making it the richest ever in any Open doubles competitions.
For details, call/text 0932-8573431 c/o Glenn Encarnacion or Richard Bautista or log on to www.fdgcup.com.
Actress Iza Calzado will also grace the event as host, while Giselle Sanchez and Brod Pete will provide entertainment during awards rites of the event also held to promote fitness and health and at the same time foster camaraderie among the management and staff of RLC and its business partners, including architects, consultants, project managers, contractors and suppliers and friends.