Powerhouses Chinese Taipei and Korea flexed their experience to take separate five-match sweeps of the Philippines and Kazakhstan in the men’s and women’s tournaments, respectively, of the Badminton Asia Team Championships 2020, Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
World men’s singles number 2 Chou Tien Chen opened the rout for the fourth seeds after taking care of Filipino top single player Ros Pedrosa in 29 minutes, 21-12, 21-8 in the first singles match. His victory put his side to the Group C lead.
The Taiwanese then doubled the lead after Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin made short work of Ariel Magnaye and Alvin Morada at 21-9, 21-12.
Lanz Zafra fought hard to keep the Philippines in the tie, but the other world top-ranked player Wang Tzu Wei was able to stifle the young Filipino and clinched the tie at 21-15, 21-17.
Joper Escueta and Paul Pantig averted a total sweep after holding off Liao Min Chun and Su Ching Meng in the second game at 21-18, although they absorbed a rout in the opening frame at 9-21.
“Nung first set kasi, maraming lumalagpas na bola sa ‘kin,” Pantig admitted. “Ang ginawa namin is nag-adjust kami. Nung nakaka-catch up na kami sa pace at intensity nung laro nila, tinry naman naming i-overcome ‘yung pace nila.”
Chun and Meng needed a come-from-behind run themselves in the deciding game. They then denied the Philippines a victory with a 21-17 decision.
With the crucial pairing against Singapore tomorrow, Escueta hopes that they can bring their performance into that battle.
“Bukas naman gagawin lang namin ‘yung best namin kasi underdog pa rin naman kami sa kanila. Mas mataas pa rin ‘yung rank ng mga players nila. Pero ta-try pa rin namin manalo bukas,” the former UAAP Most Valuable Player asserted.
Chen Shiau Cheng made it five-of-five, dealing with Arthur Salvado in 27 minutes, 21-7, 21-9.
In the women’s side, Korea made swift work of Kazakhstan to take the Group X win with the longest match, which only lasted 20 minutes.
Sim Yu Jin waylaid Oxsana Shtelle at 21-4, 21-3, to clinch the match and the group top seed heading into the quarterfinals.
Sung Ji Hyun and Kim Ga Eun dominated Aisha Zhumabek and Kamila Smagulova in the first two singles matches to put the Koreans in the lead at 2-0. Sung coasted to a similar 21-4, 21-3 rout of Zhumabek, while Kim took down Smagulova with 21-5, 21-10.
Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong sent Korea to a 4-0 lead with a 21-6, 21-2 rout of Smagulova and Zhumabek in the first singles match. Lee Seo Hee and Shin Seung Chan then completed the sweep with a 21-5, 21-5 win over Arina Sazonova and Shtelle.
Action continues tomorrow, Wednesday at 10 a.m. with Indonesia taking on the Philippines in the women’s Group Y while Malaysia battles Kazakhstan in the men’s Group B.
At 4 p.m., top-seed Indonesia and Korea clash for the men’s Group A, Japan and Thailand for Group D, and Singapore debuts against the Philippines in Group C.