Two teams reached the Promised Land early after winning their separate championship matches in the IT&E Singles & Mixed Doubles Badminton Tournament 2012 over the weekend at the NMBA Gym at the TSL Sports Complex in Gualo Rai.
The pair of Oh Im Bog and Toshiko Obata secured the mixed doubles B crown last Sunday after beating the father-and-daughter tandem of Jojo and Jen Savellano in the finals in straight games, 21-8, 21-16.
Oh and Obata, who finished the elimination round of Pool with on top with a 7-1 record, advanced to the championship round following a three game victory over Rodwealth Espana and Elna Curate in the semis. The eventual champions took the opening game, 21-17, but failed to wrap up the match early when Espana and Curate regrouped in the second game and won, 21-19. Then in the deciding third set, it was Oh and Obata's turn to regain their bearings for a 21-13 title win.
In the other Final Four pairing, the Savellanos, who were undefeated in the round-robin elimination in Pool B, swept Pool A No. 2 finisher Chris Hilario and Annette Ta. The father-and-daughter pair easily prevailed in the opening game, 21-12, before facing a tough challenge against Ta and Hilario in the extended second game, 27-25.
Ta and Hilario went on to settle for a third place finish after surviving Espana and Curate in the consolation game. Hilario and Ta eked out a 25-23 in the opening game and dropped the second, 16-21, before sealing the Top 3 finish with a 21-12 victory in the final game.
In the mixed doubles C title match, the husband-and-wife tandem of Joel and Alma Ortega were victorious against Brandon Talania and Roma Barlao. The couple lost the opening game, 11-21, but managed to steal the championship after recovering in the second, 21-13, and showing poise in the winner-take-all third game, 22-20.
The Ortegas made it to the championship round after sweeping Son Jae Ok and Fen Luan Li in the first semis game last Saturday, 21-13, 21-13. Talania and Barlao also needed only two games to eliminate Dick Koo and Bae Woo Kyung in the other Final Four pairing, 21-16, 21-8. Koo and Kyung saved third place after a 21-16, 21-16 victory over Son and Fen.
Meanwhile, the semis cast in the women's C and men's B singles were completed over the weekend.
In the women's C singles, Midori Obi will face Irish Pagarao, while Jane Tupas is paired against Barlao. In the men's B singles, Of will square off against Jexler Caranto, while Wowie Abuel will duel Espana.
Semis pairings in the men's A and C singles, women's A and B singles, and mixed doubles A will be determined before the week ends and title matches are expected to be played this Sunday.