Friday, January 17, 2020

The Philippines set for 2020 Badminton Asia Championships hosting

In less than a month, the Philippines will be hosting another major regional event, with the Rizal Memorial Coliseum set to be the venue for third Badminton Asia Team Championships.

Scheduled to take place on February 11-16, it serves as not just a qualifier for the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup in May, but also for the Olympics, with shuttlers attempting to accumulate the points needed to be able to make it for Tokyo 2020.

According to Badminton Asia Chief Operating Officer Chit Boon Saw, he sees the country going through another boom in the sport, which he believes that it is a perfect opportunity to have the meet take place here.

He shares, "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." He also adds, "The game can be promoted to the masses better with an event like this."

Almost 300 Asian shuttlers are expected to come to the country, led by defending champions Indonesia (men's) and Japan (women's).

There will be fifteen teams in the men's division and fourteen in the women's division. The squads will be divided into groups of four, with the top two of each group advancing into the knockout rounds.

Ties will consist of three singles matches and a couple of doubles matches. Win three of these matchups and one can clinch the tie.

The Philippines only won one tie in the previous edition of the Badminton Asia Team Championships, going 1-2 in the men's division and 0-3 in the women's side when it took place in Malaysia back in 2018.

Saw views the tournament as a chance for the local competitors to secure much-needed match experience, says "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 also believes that the Philippine Badminton Association will be able to make the 2020 edition of the tourney a success.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Ceres Negros, Shan United set for AFC Champions League play

Club football in the Philippines for 2020 commences on Tuesday night, as Philippines Football League and Copa Paulino Alcantara champions Ceres Negros FC face off against Burmese rivals Shan United in the first round of the AFC Champions League preliminary round.

Set for a 7:30pm kickoff, both teams look to secure a victory that would vault them into the next round, where a matchup against Thai side Port FC looms next week.

Shan United is still searching for their first win against the Busmen, having lost in all five of their meetings, including their preliminary round meeting a couple of years ago, where they lost 4-3 in penalties after playing to a 1-1 standoff after extra time in Yangon. Fresh from an undefeated season in the Myanmar National League, they are looking to make themselves more competitive in continental play.

Ceres is looking for a better performance this time around after suffering a 2-1 loss to Yangon United at Bacolod to end their ACL hopes last year. They have reacquired Arnie Pasinabo and Joshua Grommen, while adding Hikaru Minegeshi and Mark Hartmann to join a core centered on Stephan Schroeck and Bienve Maranon.

For Philippine fans, if the match pushes through, the Ceres-Shan matchup will be shown LIVE on 5Plus, as well as the Sports5 social media channels.

The Local Organizing Committee continues to work as if the match will push through and will only notify if there are any changes if the AFC makes such a declaration.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas reveals OQT pool

The FIBA 3x3 pool
With the 2020 FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifiers less than a couple of months away in India, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas recently unveiled its pool of prospects that would likely comprise most, if not all of the national team set to participate in the tournament.

FIBA 3x3 rules mandate that at least four of the six players that will be participating in the OQT and the Olympics should be in the top 10 of the country's rankings. As such, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas announced the composition of its pool based from said rankings, all of which were involved in the Chooks 3x3 tourneys that took place in 2019.

Leading the cast of ten are the country's two best Pinoy players in Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol.

The remaining members of the pool is Munzon's teammate in Pasig in Dylan Ababou, and Pasaol's teammates in Bataan in Karl Dehesa and Leonard Santillan, as well as the likes of Chris De Chavez, Gab Banal, Jaypee Belencion, Leo De Vera, and Ryan Monteclaro.

Preparation for the tournament has been continuous ever since the announcement that the Philippines made the qualifiers, with league commissioner Eric Altamirano and the Serbian duo of Stefan Stojacic and Darko Krsman overseeing the sessions, with fellow Chooks 3x3 participants Troy Rike and Franky Johnson pitching in.

League owner Ronald MascariƱas shares, "This is our last shot at the Olympics that is why we are going all out for this." He adds, "Our players have been training non-stop since November, giving just a few days of break during the holidays."

Set to take place on March 18-22, the OQT seeks to complete the Olympic field in 3x3, filling the remaining three slots available.