Zoom Cagayan de Oro City councilor Imee Moreno joins People’s Tonight sports editor Ed Andaya, Ernest Leo Hernandez and Gab Ferreras during the 52nd “Sports on Air”via Zoom recently.

PBAD sees exciting times for badminton

January 25, 2023 Ed Andaya 399 views

THE Philippine Badminton Association hopes to make the most of its long-standing partnership with the MVP Sports Foundation and Smart Communications to “bring the sport closer to the people and discover more young and talented players all over the country.”

PBAD hopes to achieve both by launching an aggressive and nationwide program supported by MVP Sports Foundation and Smart Communications.

PBAD project director and Cagayan de Oro City councilor Imee Moreno is now leading the efforts to put badminton back in the limelight.

“We in PBAD want to bring back the glory of badminton in the country. We want to level up the players and the ranking system we once had more than a decade ago,” said Moreno during the 52nd “Sports on Air” via Zoom recently.

“Alam naman natin na medyo kakaunti lang ang mga badminton tournaments ngayon dito sa Pilipinas, lalo na nun pandemic. We realized that for us to jumpstart badminton, we have to do it in the high-level right away. We did it with the very successful inter-collegiate tournament supported by the MVPSF and Smart last September,” added Moreno.

An avid badminton player herself, Moreno said PBAD and its partners MVPSF and Smart are set to hold the National Open badminton championships on February 20-26 at Dragonsmash Badminton Center in Chino Roces Ave. in Makati City.

“This year, we’re starting with the National Open with guaranteed cash prizes of P1- million. It’s big at hindi talaga siya biro to have such cash prizes.We did it so we can be able to get accreditation from the BWF. May mga classfication kasi ang mga tournaments and we really want to be part of the classification ng Super 500, so we have to give away P 1-million worth of cash prize,” explained Moreno.

“Bakit kailangan pang gawing Super 500? Para ito sa mga players natin, not only for the national players but also aspiring athletes.”

Moreno said PBAD, thru vice-president Jude Turcuato and secretary-general Christopher “Epok” Quimpo, and MVPSF have agreed to support badminton players by providing Super 500 tournaments where they can gain ranking points

“Usually ang mga national players natin dito sa Pilipinas ay kailangan pang dalhin natin sa ibang bansa for them to garner ranking points. Sadly dito sa bansa natin, hindi tayo makapagbigay ng points at makatulong sa mga athletes natin kaya natin sila pinapadala sa ibang bansa. Yun malaki talaga ang gastos.”

Moreno said the National Open was last held in 2019 at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex and served as the test ev ent for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

“In the National Open, we have five categories: mixed doubles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, men’s singles and women’s singles,” said Moreno.

At stake in the doubles are P150,000 to the champion, P75,000 to the runner-up. and P20,000 to the third placer and p5,000 to the quarterfinalists.

In the singles, the champion will get the lion’s share of P70,000.

The runner-up and third placer will bring home P35,000 and P15,000 and the quarterfinalists P5,000 each.

Another main purpose of PBAD is to generate enough funds for the national athletes.

“Yun mga proceeds na makukuha natin sa tournament na ito will help us na maipadala yung mga athletes natin sa ibang bansa. Right now, we have a very limited number of athletes na ipinapadala natin for training sa Malaysia, Iran or Africa. But through this event, I hope madagdagan pa natin sila at para makatulong ma-increase ang rankings nila globally.”

Moreno is confident that PBAD can duplicate, if not surpass, the success of the National Inter-Collegiate held last September.

“The National Inter-Collegiate last September proved that there are really a lot of good and talented players in the country. Now comes the National Open in February. This is really an exciting time for badminton. I am excited.” With reports from Gab Ferreras