Philippine badminton body eyes overseas success

John Bryan Ulanday - Philstar.com
Philippine badminton body eyes overseas success

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Badminton Association (PBAD) will shift its focus to smashing its stuff in the international stage after the rousing success of the 2024 Philippine Badminton Open (PBO) in two different cities.

Over 400 players from across the archipelago duked it out in the PBO backed by PLDT, Smart and MVP Sports Foundation that saw Smash Pilipinas aces Jelo Albo and Mika de Guzman reigning supreme in the men’s and women’s singles, respectively. 

Now, the goal is to hit it big abroad with the grand goal of making it to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. 

“Our two main goals is, one, prepare for the next Olympics in LA by securing resources to join more international tournaments to earn points and qualify. The other focus is our grassroots program, concentrating on our juniors’ program and schools to discover emerging talents," said PBAD secretary general Carla Lizardo-Sulit. 

To do that, PBAD is keen on fielding bets for a tougher competition in the next levels abroad after a series of good results in Level 2 and Level 3 tournaments, which became possible due to the relentless success of PBO in finding and honing future local talents. 

“We are trying to build a strong support system for our senior team to establish a high-performance program. This includes sending them to as many tournaments as possible. Competing almost every month in another country is one of the challenges of badminton, so we hope to strategize well and send them to the right tournaments to see results internationally," added Lizardo-Sulit. 

"We’ve been competing at Level 2 and Level 3 internationally and are already seeing results. We’re thrilled about that with our seniors and juniors. We are past the stage of just qualifying; we are now aiming for the podium. Our next goal is to graduate from Level 3, achieve results at Level 2, and eventually reach Level 1, which includes the Olympics.”

But first things first for the national federation starting from the local scene after ushering in a new crop of ace shuttlers in the PBO held at the Gameville Ball Park in Mandaluyong City and First Pacific Leadership Academy in Antipolo City. 

Tho Albo and De Guzman proved their championship pedigree as the country’s top bets, young guns gave them a run for their own money with UAAP standouts Ysabel Amora of National University (De Guzman’s runner-up), Kimberly Lao and Patricia De Dios of University of the Philippines (women’s doubles runners-up), and Kervin Llanes and RA Pedron (men’s doubles third-placers) from UPalso making their marks. 

“For me, as part of PBad, the MVP Sports Foundation, and Smart, I'm happy that we were able to organize this PBO. It took a lot of effort from the federation and the badminton community. I'm happy that the participants signed up from all across the country,” beamed Jude Turcuato, the First Vice President and Head of Sports at PLDT, 

"We will continue to grow the network. We know that to develop badminton as one of the most popular sports in the country, we need the help of everyone," concluded Lizardo-Sulit.

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