THE Philippines’ four aces in singles play suffered stinging losses in the qualifying round to bow out of the Smart Badminton Asia Championships on Tuesday at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.
Ros Pedrosa, the reigning MVP Badminton Cup men’s champion, carried the fight for the home team and placed second in Group C, missing a ticket to the main draw by a victory.
Mr. Pedrosa started the day with a 21-19, 21-8 victory over Bahrain’s Adnan Ebrahim but stumbled to a 21-14, 21-8 setback to Kazakhstan’s Dimitriy Panarin in a virtual battle for group No. 1 and the lone ticket to the tournament proper.
Mr. Panarin, who also defeated Mr. Ebrahim, 21-12, 21-14, set up a showdown with Japanese Koki Watanabe in the Round-of-32.
Jaja Andres also split her assignments in Group B of the women’s singles qualifiers and fell short.
Ms. Andres fell to Indonesia’s Stephanie Widjaja, 21-10, 21-8, but bounced back with a 21-17, 21-7 disposal of the Maldives’ Fathimath Abdul Razzaq. Ms. Widjaja, a 21-4, 21-8 winner over Ms. Razzaq, took the solitary seat to the main draw with her sweep of pool play.
The two other Pinoy entries — men’s bet Jewel Albo and women’s competitor Mika de Guzman — absorbed a shutout in their respective groups.
Mr. Albo lost to China’s Lei Lan Xi, 21-17, 21-15, and Hong Kong’s Chan Yin Chak, 21-8, 21-10, in a 0-2 outing in Group D while Ms. De Guzman had the same fate in women’s Group B against Malaysia’s Myisha Mohd Khairul, 13-21, 21-15, 21-14, and Indonesia’s Komang Ayu Dewi, 25-23, 21-8.
With the four’s exit, the Philippines now pins its hopes on the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles.
“I still have to work on my conditioning,” rued Mr. Pedrosa, who faded in the last stretch of the first set against Mr. Panarin. “I already had a good feel of how to play him but only lost steam.”
Mr. Pedrosa trailed by only two, 16-14, before yielding five successive points to lose the opening set. They were at 2-2 early in the second before Panarin racked up nine unanswered markers to pull away.