Manila, Philippines – Joper Escueta and Malvinne Ann Alcala proved their worth as national team members as they lorded it over the Open singles field to rule their respective divisions in the Philippine National Open-Ming Ramos Youth Camp Badminton Championships at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall late Friday.
Escueta, 18, wore down a fastfading top seed Paul Vivas to take the men’s crown with a thrilling 21-15, 17-21, 21-16 decision that lasted for 50 minutes.
The annual event is held in honor of the former Philippine Badminton Association president and now PBA honorary chair former First Lady Amelita “Ming“ Ramos.
Trading smashes and drop shots late in the deciding set, Vivas forged a 16-all count but lost steam, enabling Escueta to cash in and racked up the last five points and the victory worth P40,000.
A limping Alcala, on the other hand, bested hard-fighting Descka Calimlim of Victor PCOME-Philstar, 28-26, 21-18, to retain the women’s title.
The tournament was organized by the PBA, headed by Vice President Jejomar Binay, chair Manny V. Pangilinan and sec-gen Rep. Albee Benitez, and sponsored by Victor/PCOME, Bingo Bonanza, Sun Cellular and the Philippine Sports Commission.
Alcala later teamed up with Ronel Estanislao to capture the Open mixed doubles plum over Gerald Sibayan and Rochelle Reyes, 21-14, 17-21, 21-12.
Former President Fidel V. Ramos and Mrs. Ramos awarded the trophies and prizes to the winners of the event which featured the present crop of badminton talents as well as the rising stars.
Escueta also matched Alcala’s twin victories as he paired with Peter Gabriel Magnaye to turn back arch-rivals Ronel Estanislao and Vivas, 21-18, 21-17, to bag the Open men’s doubles title.
National youth team Lance Bautista and Theodore Co downed teammates Carlos Cayanan and Gerlad Sibayan, 21-14, 23-21, for the boys’ doubles 19-under top plum.
John Kenneth Monterubio thwarted 13-year-old wonder Mark Shelley Alcala to take the boys under-19 singles title. But Alcala, brother Malvinne, took the boys’ 17-under singles crown with a 21-18, 21-15 victory over Carlo Glenn Remo.