PH bets stun Singaporeans, keep hopes alive

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    THE Philippines leaned heavily on its doubles players to score a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 upset of Singapore in men’s division of the Badminton Asia Manila Team Championships at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum yesterday.

    Riding the heroics of Peter Gabriel Magnaye, the hosts forged a 1-1 count with a riveting 22-20, 21-19 victory in the first doubles after Leonard Pedrosa absorbed an 11-21, 8-21 loss to Lo Kean Yew in the opening singles.

    With the hosts up 21-20, Magnaye, son of national head coach Ronald Magnaye, put an exclamation point with an emphatic overhead smash in the first while his partner, Alvin Morada, proved to be the stabilizing force in next set.

    Singapore regained the lead as Jason Teh took down Lanz Ralf Zafra 21-14, 21-23, but the PH duo of Philip Jopher Escueta and Paul John Pantig played solidly and dumped the Singaporean tandem of Wen Tan and Jia Hao Howin Wong 21-16, 21-16, knotting the series at 2-all.

    Not letting all of the efforts of his teammates go to waste, southpaw Solomon Padiz Jr. beat Michael Ng 21-10, 21-19 as the Filipinos moved on the brink of their first quarterfinal appearance in the prestigious Asian competition.

    Coach Ronald Magnaye said it was the first time that the Philippines beat Singapore in any major international tournament.