MANILA, Philippines – Reigning Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie made amends for his group phase defeat, sending top-ranked Indonesia into the semifinal after completing a 3-0 sweep of host Philippines in the 2020 SMART Badminton Asia Manila Team Championships, Friday, February 14 at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
Christie, the world No. 7 shuttler, remained composed throughout the second singles match to fend off Lanz Zafra, 21-11, 21-14, and secure Indonesia’s passage into the next round.
World No. 5 Anthony Ginting put the reigning champions on the board with a sweep of Ros Pedrosa, 21-10, 21-16, in the first singles match.
The Philippine duo of Ariel Magnaye and Alvin Morada provided the challenge in the opening frame of the doubles match after leading at 7-6. Mohammad Hasan and Hendra Satiawan regrouped, though, and took the frame at 21-16.
The Indonesians then buckled down to work and dominated the 2nd at 21-12 for the insurmountable 2-0 advantage.
Indonesia will face either Thailand or India in the semifinal round of the tournament backed by SMART Communications, Inc, MVP Sports Foundation, Leisure and Resorts World Corporation, Cignal, and TV5.
Despite the loss, Zafra was thankful for the experience of playing against such world-class athletes.
“Happy po ako na nakalaban ko po siya,” the 18-year-old said. “Kasi po nakakalaban lang po sila sa mga Super Series po kapag top 32 ka.”
Zafra added: “Okay po kasi ngayon po nagkakaroon ng maraming tournaments para sa ‘min, nakakapag-expose po sa mga laro naman at ‘yung kailangan pa naming i-develop sa laro.”
(I’m happy that we get to play them. Usually they only play in the Super Series, just the top 32 players. It’s also good that we get to compete in more tournaments, we get exposure and we learn what else we need to develop in our game.) – Rappler.com