By Jon Perez
From left, Ryan Achas, Pruwajatan Wijay, Lito Mendoza, and John Nguyen pose for the camera after their men's A division game in the Inaugural Michelob Ultra Badminton Tournament last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
The tournament is supported in part by Michelob-MARPAC, At Your Service, SaipanCell, JET Holdings, PMIC, Serenity Salon, Elegance Café, NIC, Canton Restaurant, National Office Supply, Makeover Beauty Salon, Megavision, Venus Beauty Salon, Vargas Construction, Esolutions Inc., Philippine Consul General Wilfredo Maximo, and NC Matsumoto.
Achas and Mendoza notched win No. 3 in the men's A division after dealing the pair of Macoi Aguda and Edwin Montoya a 17-21, 17-21 setback.
Unlike their first game, Achas and Mendoza made sure there won't be anymore comebacks from their opponents to force a third set by finishing them off right away.
But Aguda and Montoya did not give up without a fight and stood their ground against their first round tormentors as Achas and Mendoza were forced to work for their points.
Pruwajatan Wijay and John Nguyen added to Aguda and Montoya's woes when they scored a 21-15, 21-10 win to bounce back from a stinging three-set loss to Achas and Mendoza last April 22.
Achas and Mendoza won the first set but Wijay and Nguyen bounced back in the second set to force a rubber in a Philippines vs South Asia match.
In the end, Achas and Mendoza had enough gas left in their tanks as they hammered Nguyen's backhand side to force Wijay's partner to commit three errors to squeeze out a 21-18 win.
In the men's B division, Joseph Santos and Alvin Alvarez won by walkover against Eric Peña and Jonathan Perez. Santos and Alvarez, earlier, lost by default against Ariel Mariano and Sherwon Samson, who also won by walkover against Peña and Perez.
Robert Reyes and Gerry Balarao eked out a 32-30 win over Saul Gargallo and Roger Vales. Gargallo and Vales rebounded with a 31-28 triumph over June Pineda and Jojo Savellano, who earlier scored a 31-28 decision against Reyes and Balarao.
In the women's B class, Shirley Kim and Malou Malasarte pulled off a thrilling 32-30 victory over sisters Lani Bartolome and Lot Abuel, who also suffered a 31-23 beating from Loida Ito and Babes Cielo.
The Ito-Cielo tandem are slowly knowing each other's games as they scored their third straight win with a 31-28 decision against Kim and Malasarte.
Elma Labuson and Janice Bungalos bounced back from a dismal performance in their last game and cruised to a 31-15 win over Janis Parcon and Juliet Ramos, who also suffered a 31-22 beating from Merlie Savellano and Cammille Samonte.
In the men's C, Obeth Aguilar and Sherwin Pusillos settled their score against Paul Navarro and Efren Cacdac with a hard-earned 21-19, 19-21, 21-13 win.
Aguilar and Pusillos made it two in a row on Saturday when they overcame a first loss and pulled off a 17-21, 21-15, 21-10 win over Rick Brien and Cris Hilario.
Angelie Ito and Ana Rose Omori also remain undefeated in the women's C division after a 21-13, 21-11 triumph over Irene Santiago and Aneth Ta. Lherie Galvan and Lucelle Lampera added to Santiago and Ta's woes when they scored a 21-19, 21-9 decision.
The men's Class A and C divisions follow a double round-robin format since it is only consist of three pairs, while the men's and women's B, and mixed doubles will have a double elimination round.
The tournament is held every Saturday and Tuesday only with the play dates slated on April 19, 22, 26, and 29, and May 3 and 6. A defaulting time of 15 minutes will be followed in the tournament.
The elimination round games will follow one set of race-to-31 points in both the doubles and mixed doubles events. The quarter, semis, and finals will follow the regular scoring consisting of three-set matches of 21 points.