Youngster Markie Alcala firmed up his claim as the next badminton star as he ruled the boys’ Under-15 singles division of the P 1-million MVP Sports Foundation-Bingo Bonanza Philippine Badminton Ranking System (PBaRS) tournament for the third straight time at the Wheels ‘N More courts in Davao City Wednesday.
Alcala, the 13-year-old brother of the country’s leading women’s player Malvinne, bucked a second set setback with a convincing win in the decider to complete a 21-16, 20-22, 21-14 victory over Alvin Morada, whom he also toppled in the finals of the first two legs of the four-stage nationwide circuit in Manila and Bacolod.
The Allied/Victor mainstay actually tried out in the tougher U-19 category but proved too young and dropped a 20-22, 21-10, 21-11 decision to join third seed Jason Oba-ob in the second round.
Still, Alcala’s repeat win in the U-15 side worth P10,000 put him alongside Antonino Gadi and Bianca Carlos as three-peat winners in the circuit organized and conducted by the Philippine Badminton Association under Vice President and PBA President Jejomar Binay, Rep. Albee Benitez and businessman-sportsman Manny V. Pangilinan.
Gadi foiled Paul Vivas for the second straight time, 19-21, 21-12, 21-14, in the men’s Open finals, while Carlos dominated Janelle de Vera, 21-16, 21-15, to reign again in the girls’ U-19 division of the event backed by official equipment sponsor Victor, exclusively distributed by PCOME Industrial Sales Inc.
Gelita Castilo, meanwhile, emerged the winningest player in the five-day event with three victories, including the women’s Open singles and the twin doubles plums in the U-19 and Open classes with regular partner Dia Magno.
The duo bested Patricia Barredo and Janelle de Vera, 21-16, 21-17, in the U-19 finals, and took home P20,000, then repulsed Ginalee Daymiel and Jocelyn Monteverde, 21-11, 23-21, in the Open class worth a whopping P70,000.
Castilo, a Golden Shuttle Foundation stalwart, also won P70,000 after beating Carlos, 21-7, 21-14, for her first Open singles diadem in the circuit.
Other doubles winners were Vivas and Barredo (Open mixed), Ronel Estanislao-Vivas (Open men’s), Kevin Cudiamat-De Vera (U-19 mixed), Cudiamat-Joper Escueta (U-19 boys), Raphael Deato-Eleanor Enlayo (U-15 mixed), Isabel Leonardo-Amabel Sumabat (U-15 girls), and Vincent Manuel-Morada (U-15 boys).
Meanwhile, the VP Grand Prix, the fourth and final leg of the ranking circuit aimed at raising the level of play and producing future badminton stars, will be held October 22 to 29 in Manila.*PNA
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