Defending men’s team champions Indonesia was just too hot for hosts the Philippines with an easy 3-0 win in the quarter-finals at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila on Friday – giving an early warning that they are in no mood to surrender the title they won two years ago in Alor Setar, Malaysia.
Also easing into the last four was Malaysia who surprised Korea by a similar scoreline. The Badminton Asia Manila Team Championships is also the Asian Qualifier for the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark from May 16-24.
Indonesia will play India Saturday’s semi-finals while Malaysia will play either Japan – 3-1 winners over Chinese Taipei.
India surprised Thailand by coming back from 2-0 after losing the first two singles but won both the doubles and the third singles for a 3-2 win and place in the semis which came with an automatic berth in the Thomas Cup Finals.
In the first singles, B. Sai Praneeth went down 14-21, 21-14, 12-21 to Kantaphon Wangcharoen after a 63-minute battle before Thailand’s reigning junior world champion Kunlavut packed off K. Srikanth 22-20, 21-14.
The Indians turned the tide when up and coming doubles pair M.R. Arjun-Dhruv Kapila snatched a 21-18, 22-20 win over Kittinupong Kedren-Tanupat Viriyangkura and made it 2-2 when Lakshya Sen defeated Suppanyu Avihingsanon 21-19, 21-18.
In the deciding last tie which was the first doubles, India fielded the scratch pair of K. Srikanth-Chira Shetty the Indians came off 21-15, 16-21, 21-15 winners against Maneepon Jongjit-Nipitphon Phaungphuapet for the winning point.
Malaysia also celebrated a place in the semi-finals and a place in the Thomas Cup Finals after a 3-0 upset win over Korea.
It is a double delight for Malaysia in Manila as the women’s team also made the Uber Cup Finals after defeating Chinese Taipei 3-1 earlier in the morning.
Cheam June Wei who came in as the second singles against Korean veteran Son Won-ho defeated the Korean veteran 21-18, 9-21, 21-14 for the winning point in a 62-minute thriller.
”This is the first time I have beaten a top-ranked player. More importantly, no words can describe my happiness in helping my country qualify for a major tournament like the Thomas Cup on merit.
Sea Games champion Lee Zii Jia thrashed Heo Kwang Hee 21-9, 21-14 in 35 minutes for Malaysia’s first point before Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik outgunned Choi Solgyu-Kim Won-ho in the first doubles. Badminton Asia
Malaysia 3 Korea 0
Indonesia 3 Philippines 0
India 3 Thailand 2
Japan 3 Chinese Taipei 1