SMASH Pilipinas head coach Rosman Razak finally had a chance to see the badminton players of our country during the MVP Second Badminton Cup held from February 23-25 at the Olympic Badminton Center in Ugong, Pasig.
Despite local shuttlers not being able to play over the past two years due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Razak was pleased with not just the turnout but also the performances of the players.
“I think it’s a great tournament, especially for the players,” said Razak, who was hired by the Philippine Badminton Association last October.
“It has been so long already that we don’t have a tournament. Now, it’s the time for them to have a tournament and it’s a really good showing from them.“
Of course, standing out in the tournament were national team players Ros Pedrosa (men’s singles champion), Thea Pomar and Nicole Albo (women’s doubles champions), and Solomon Padiz Jr. and July Villabrille (men’s doubles champions).
But what surprised the Malaysian tactician was the next generation saying, “I think especially from the youngsters because you can see all the youngsters really play so well in this tournament.”
Also catching the eye of the two-time Southeast Asian Games silver medalist were men’s singles runner-up Jewel Albo, 18; women’s doubles specialist Susmita Ramos, 20; and men’s singles fourth placer Mark Anthony Velasco, 20.
Razak knows and feels the importance of getting these players into the proper mindset and he can be seen talking to all the players after the games.
It is because the former Malaysian national team tactician believes that training and competition are two completely different scenes.
“Yeah, because I think I was here for almost four months already, and it’s always been in the training. The training is really good, but then, of course, the tournament is much more different,” he said.
“After this, I also have the idea how we need to move on because this is the real thing — we need to move up.”
With competitions left and right in the next few months — among others, the 31st Southeast Asian Games in May — the freshly minted coach and the rest of the federation need to up their ante. Adding to this is the fact that the country went medal-less when it hosted the previous edition on home soil.
“I think, frankly speaking, we are still far from the other countries,” he opined. “However, I think we are in a good position to compete with the other countries.
“But of course, we need a lot to do in the future.”