Top Asian teams due for badminton tilt

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    THE national women’s team secured the more favorable draw between the two host squads during the drawing of lots yesterday for the Badminton Asia Team Championships on Feb. 11 to 16 at the newly-renovated Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

    The Pinay racket-wielders, ranked 11th among the 12 participating entries, wound up in Group Y in the company of familiar Southeast Asian rivals Thailand and Indonesia, rated fourth and fifth, respectively, in the draw held at the Century Park Hotel.

    Their men’s counterparts, also ranked 11th, found themselves in a much tougher bracket after being lumped in Group A together with No. 1 seed Indonesia and No. 5 seed India in the competition organized by the Philippine Badminton Association-Smash Pilipinas, and sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation and Badminton Asia.

    In other brackets in the women’s division, top seed Japan heads Group W with Malaysia (No. 8) and Hong Kong (No.), No. 2 seed China heads Group Z with Chinese-Taipei (No. 6) and Singapore (No. 10), and No. 3 seed South Korea is in Group X with India (No. 7) and Kazakhstan (No. 12).

    In the men’s division, No. 2 Japan heads Group D with South Korea (No.7) and Kazakhstan (No. 11), No. 3 China is in Group B with Thailand (No. 8) and Hong Kong (No. 9) and Chinese-Taipei (No. 4) is bracketed in Group C with Malaysia (No. 6) and Singapore (No. 10).

    “Fresh from hosting the last 30th Southeast Asian Games, we welcome the hosting of this event that will help our national players raise the level of their skills to international standards,” noted PBA president Albee Benitez. “So we thank Badminton Asia in allowing us to host this event in the Philippines.”