Thailand sweeps PH in 2020 Badminton Asia Team Championships opener

MANILA, Philippines, February 12 ------ Thailand asserted its mastery of the Philippines with a 5-match sweep in the women's tournament while India completed a rout of Kazakhstan on the men's side, 4-1, to open the 2020 Badminton Asia Manila Team Championships group phase action, Tuesday, February 11, at Rizal Memorial Coliseum. Chasinee Korepap secured the tie against the Filipinas amidst resistance from Sarah Joy Barredo late in the second game of the third singles match to take the top of Group Y. Nonetheless, the Thai pocketed the match and the contest, 21-14, 21-15. "For me naman, naging maganda 'yung game ko kahit first time ko siyang nakalaban," Barredo said. "At first kasi 'yung game niya balik-balik lang, pero hindi lang pala siya ganun, consistent din."

Busanan Ombangrungphan opened the day with a dominant 21-8, 21-10 conquest of Nicole Albo before Pornpawee Chochuwong carved a similar victory over Bianca Carlos at 21-15, 21-12. The Philippines' doubles pairs were not fortunate as well as Thailand wrapped up the sweep in the next two matches. Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai waylaid Alyssa Leonardo and Thea Pomar, 21-12, 21-13. Korepap returned to the court and teamed up with Phataimas Muenwong in taking down Geva de Vera and Chanelle Lunod, 21-10, 21-8. Barredo hopes that the squad will put up a better game against Indonesia on Wednesday in this tournament backed by SMART Communications Incorporated, MVP Sports Foundation, Leisure and Resorts World Corporation, Cignal, and TV5.

"Mas mahihirapan kami with Indonesians pero iisipin na lang namin na no pressure kami at all. Basta, laban lang," she said. On the men's side, India handily defeated Kazakhstan with young gun Lakshya Sen taking the lead. The 2018 Asian Junior singles champion needed just 21 minutes to put his side up at 2-0. Sen was dominant in his sweep of Artur Niyazov 21-13, 21-8, in the pivotal second singles match. Subhankar Dey followed it up with another two-setter, clinching the tie, 21-11, 21-5, over Khaitmurat Kulmatov. Srikanth Kidambi put India on the board first with a 21-10, 21-7 rout of Dimitry Panarin. M. R. Arjun and Dhruv Kapila closed the day for the South Asians with another sweep at 21-14, 21-8 over Nikita Bragin and Kulmatov. Panarin and Niyazov, nonetheless, averted a sweep by taking the first doubles match for Kazakhstan with a come-from-behind win, 18-21, 21-16, 21-19, over H. S. Prannoy and Chirag Shetty.