Sarah Joy Barredo and Mark Alcala seek to get better against a field that has become tougher as they try to make it back-to-back in the Bingo Bonanza National Open Badminton Tournament unfolding October 17 at the CW Home Depot Ortigas and SM Megamall.
Barredo needed three sets to turn back national teammate Nicole Albo, 15-21, 21-16, 21-6, to claim the women’s singles Open crown last year but the PBA-Smash Pilipinas standout expects an uphill battle not only against her fellow national players but also from the collegiate standouts from the Big City and nearby provinces.
Alcala likewise primes up for a highly competitive campaign this year with all the others out to stop his domination of the event marked by a 21-14, 21-17 conquest of top seed Kevin Cudiamat in the last edition of the annual P1.5 million championship sponsored by Bingo Bonanza Corp. and sanctioned by the Philippine Badminton Association headed by Vice President Jejomar Binay and sec-gen Rep. Albee Benitez.
Tournament director Nelson Asuncion is actually expecting a number of foreign players to join the tournament although they can’t gain ranking points, this being the country’s premier championship which features the best of the best and future stars.
Meanwhile, the draw and seeding will be held at the LWRC 26F West Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Center in Ortigas. The schedule of matches will be posted on Oct. 14 while the coaches, team managers and players’ meeting will be held on October 16, also at LWRC. The qualifiers and quarterfinals will cover five days of action at the CW Home Depot before the tournament, backed by Victor PCOME as the official equipment, SM Megamall, Smash Pilipinas and the Philippine Olympic Committee, moves to the SM Megamall for the semi-finals and finals on October 22 and 23, respectively.
Other players to watch are R-Jay Ormilla, Kenneth Monterubio, Paul Vivas and Peter Magnaye in the men’s side, and Christine Inlayo and Malvinne Alcala in the women’s side.
The top collegiate and club players from Metro Manila and the different provinces will also join the hunt for the winners’ purse of P100,000 for the men’s and women’s singles champions and P120,000 for the men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles of the event sanctioned by the Philippine Badminton Association.