Reymark Begornia rules Southeast Asian Cup Squash Championships
Reymark Begornia
Reymark Begornia rules Southeast Asian Cup Squash Championships
(The Philippine Star) - April 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Reymark Begornia capped his improbable run in the fifth Southeast Asian Cup Squash Championships last Wednesday night with a stirring 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9 win over Singapore’s Benedict Chan in the men’s singles finale at the Kerry Sports courts inside the Shangri-la Hotel in Taguig City.

In an intense duel of nerves in the deciding fifth and final set, Chan was the first to blink, succumbing to three successive mid-game errors that Begornia exploited on the way to capturing the gold medal after 61 thrilling minutes of action in the tournament organized by the Philippine Squash Academy.

It was the first major international title for the lanky 5-foot-11 Filipino bet, who completed a four-match sweep of his stint that gave the hosts their first mint in the six-nation competition backed by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee and MVP Sports Foundation.

Malaysia’s Noor Ainaa Amanti Binti Amani Binti Ampandi came back from a first-set deficit to down Singapore’s Sneha Sivakumar, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6, in clinching the women’s gold medal.

“I just kept my patience, especially in the fifth set. Medyo magulang po ang kalaban pero pagod na rin siya,” said Begornia.

“This is a great win for Macmac (Begornia).  He was all effort and all heart and truly deserves the victory,” said national coach Manu Yam. “He played a calculating game but was also willing to take risks, which paid off.”

PSA president Robert Bachmann, who witnessed the close match from start to finish, was enthused by Begornia’s performance, saying: “What Macmac did was epic. He never gave up. This is a major breakthrough for him.”

Bachmann bared that the athlete would receive a “significant” bonus for his effort.

A gold medalist in the 2017 Malaysia Southeast Asian Games, Chan played it shrewdly in the opening set, using his drop shots that often caught Begornia off guard in seizing the early initiative.

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