MANILA, Philippines - Kenneth Monterubio and Nicole Albo fell short of their respective title bids as they dropped straight-set loss to fancied foreign aces in the FDG Cup Open and Invitational badminton tournament at Powersmash Badminton Center in Makati yesterday.
Monterubio put up a tough stand against top seed Des Adirangga of Indonesia but lost steam and yielded a 19-21, 18-21 setback in the Open men’s singles finals. The young Albo succumbed to the power-hitting Lili Wang of China and absorbed a 6-21, 10-21 loss in the women’s singles side.
Still, it was an impressive finish for the PBA-Smash Pilipinas bets with the No. 14 Monterubio upending No. 10 Ros Pedrosa, 21-18, 16-21, 21-10, to seal a title clash with Adirangga, who thwarted local ace R-Jay Ormilla, 23-21, 21-16, in the two-weekend ranking tournament sanctioned by the Philippine Badminton Association and held in honor of Robinsons Land Corp. president Frederick D. Go.
Monterubio earlier stunned No. 8 Kevin Cudiamat with his power game, 21-11, 21-11, to advance to the semis against Pedrosa, who subdued Kevin Dalisay, 21-12, 21-15.
Albo wore down joint No. 2 Asifa Nur Farisma of Indonesia, 21-16, 12-21, 20-12 (ret.), to gain a crack at the crown in the event held in partnership with Smart Live More, Smash Pilipinas, the PNRS and Partners Cup with Li-ning as the official shuttlecock.
Wang also scored an abbreviated win over top seed Chiang Pei Hsin of Taiwan, who retired after taking the first set and the first point in the second frame, 18-21, 0-1.
Meanwhile, Chinese former world No. 1 Wang Lin and Wang Xin showcased their world-class skills before local fans in exhibition matches highlighting the 11th staging of the annual event with the former teaming up with Go and the latter with Philippine Badminton Association sec-gen Rep. Albee Benitez.
Go later partnered with Xin in a match against Lin and former national standout Kennevic Asuncion.
Also being played at presstime were the Partners Cup, which features employees and business partners of the RLC, and the Open women’s and men’s and mixed doubles finals with Amor Montilla and Dawn Salatan facing off with Paola Bernardo and Pauline Tan (women’s doubles), Ariel delos Santos and Gerald Sibayan clashing with Joper Estuesta and Ronel Estanislao (men’s doubles) and Gabriel Magnaye and Montilla colliding with Estanislao and Joella de Vera (mixed doubles).