MANILA, Philippines -- Host Philippines received some luck during the redrawing of groupings for the 2020 Badminton Asia Manila Team Championships, which takes place from February 11-16, 2020 at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
The team of Joper Escueta, Ariel Magnaye, Alvin Morada, Solomon Padiz Jr., Paul John Pantig, Ros Pedrosa, Arthur Salvado, and Lanz Zafra, who were originally slotted with top seed Indonesia and fifth-ranked India, has been moved to Group C with Chinese-Taipei and Singapore.
"Even if the grouping is a little lighter compared to our original group, we still have a mountain to climb, especially Chinese-Taipei has one of the top players in the world in Chou Tien Chen," said men's national team head coach Ronald Magnaye.
A reclassification of the squads was done due to China, Hong Kong, and India's women's squads backing out of the biennial meet.
Group B will be composed of India, Malaysia, and Kazakhstan.
With the top two teams in each group automatically advancing to the knockout semis in this tournament, Group A's Indonesia and Korea and Group D's Japan and Thailand will just play for seeding.
For the women's side, the Philippine team of Nicole Albo, Sarah Barredo, Mika De Guzman, Geva De Vera, Ysay Leonardo, Chanelle Lunod, Bianca Carlos, and Thea Pomar will still figure in Group C with fellow Southeast Asian squads Thailand and Indonesia.
Group W's Malaysia and Japan, Group X's Korea and Kazakhstan, and Group Z's Chinese-Taipei and Singapore will also just play for seeding to the next round in this tilt that will serve as the qualifier for the 2020 Thomas and Uber Cup this May.
On opening day, the Philippines women's squad take on Thailand at 10 a.m. in Court 1 while India faces Kazakhstan in men's action.
The Philippine men's team takes to court at 4 p.m. against Chinese-Taipei in Court 1 while Korea and Kazakhstan square off in the women's division in Court 2.
Badminton Asia and the Philippine Badminton Association have taken all measures to ensure the safety of the players participating in the tournament in the light of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) crisis.
"We can assure to the players and the Filipino people that their safety is put on a premium to ensure the world-class staging of this event," said PBA secretary-general Christopher Quimpo.
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