Four youth players marched into the winner’s bracket semifinals of the men’s doubles B division of the Tan Holdings Open 20013 after downing separate opponents over the weekend at the TSL Sports Complex.
Deether Edralin and J.P. Nopia booked a semis berth in the double-elimination tournament after notching two wins in the opening week of the competition. The U18 duo first swept Edwin Montoya and Alvin Alvarez last Friday, 21-10, 21-15, to advance against Cris Hilario and Aries Cordero, who drew a bye in the opening round of the six-team field.
Nopia and Edralin faced Hilario and Cordero last Saturday and nailed a 21-16, 21-17 victory to set up a semis duel with fellow youth players Jordan Pangilinan and Ezekiel Macario. Pangilinan and Macario, who both play for Community Badminton Club, took the other bye in the first round and moved into the semis after defeating Joel Ortega and Jojo Savellano in two games last Saturday, 21-16, 21-14.
Earlier last Friday, Savellano and Ortega earned the right to challenge Macario and Pangilinan in the second round after topping Jerry Tan and Piao. Ortega and Savellano cruised past their foes in the first game, 21-6, before eking out a 21-20 triumph in the second to secure the sweep.
With the defeat, Piao and Tan were relegated to the losers bracket, but were eventually booted out of the tournament after bowing to Hilario and Cordero. Cordero and Hilario avoided the early showers after registering a 21-14, 21-16 victory over Tan and Piao last Saturday.
Also eluding elimination was the pair of Savellano and Ortega, who survived Alvarez and Montoya in a win-or-go-home three-game match. Ortega and Savellano drew first blood in the knockout tiff last Sunday, 21-10, but failed to take the win early when Montoya and Alvarez pulled off a 21-18 triumph in the second game. Then in the deciding third game, Savellano and Ortega showed they have enough gas left on their tanks to outclass Alvarez and Montoya, 21-11.
With the tough win, Savellano and Ortega will move on to the next round and play against Cordero and Hilario this Friday with the winner facing the loser of the winner’s bracket semis for the second and last finals berth. Nopia and Edralin and Caranto and Macario will also play the winner’s bracket semifinals this Friday, while the title game is scheduled for Sunday. Whoever prevails in the winner’s bracket semis will not only gain the first finals seat, but also earn a twice-to-beat advantage in the championship showdown.
Meanwhile, results of the other divisions—men’s doubles A and C, women’s doubles A,B, and C, and mixed doubles A,B, C and 40-and-above—will be reported later this week.