MANILA, Philippines - It's been a few days since the tournament and I am still reeling from my weekend high. It seemed insurmountable, less than three weeks to stage. But I guess nothing is impossible, so says the sage. It held true here, for this squash tournament was pegged on a day that marks my last weekend as a Squash Rackets Association of the Philippines board member.
A total of 16 male and 9 female players from 9 countries will be competing at the 4th Asian Beach Games in Phuket, Thailand. This is the first time that Squash will be played at the games and the organizers are very pleased with outcome of the participants who joined the event
National Squash team members Mac Begornia, David Pelino and Don Espinola, continue honing their skills with internationally acclaimed squash coach, Zainal Abidin. Leading a one week training and assessment module at the Makati Sports Club, Coach Abidin checked how far the team has developed since his last visit not too long ago.
The Philippines started well in their first match against 9th seed Qatar with David Pelino winning over Ahmed Al-Tamimi 11-5 / 11-6 / 3-11 / 11-7. However, Mac and Robert weren’t as fortunate. Both lost in straight sets to more experienced opponents with Robert having to contend with Abdul Al-Tamimi, a player who is currently ranked no. 73 in the world.
After their stint at the Kijono Cup; Robert Garcia, David Pelino, Don Espinola and Mac Begornia turn their focus to The Asian Squash Team Championships in Hong Kong. From June 11 - 15, a total of sixteen teams will be participating in the biennial event. Four pools each composed of four teams will be competing in round robin matches. The top two teams of each pool will advance to the quarterfinal round and later to the semi-finals and finals. The rest will be battling for placing via a knockout system. The Philippines is grouped in Pool A together with teams from India, Iran and Qatar. It is considered a very difficult pool since India is seeded no. 1 in the whole event. According to Coach Ricky Espinola, the players have been practicing hard for this competition and are ready to face whoever opponent they are up against. Countries participating in the event are India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Iran, Korea, Japan, Kuwait, Qatar, Singapore, Iraq, Taiwan, The Philippines, Macau, Sri Lanka and China.
Mac Begornia bested Yonas Belo of Indonesia in 4 sets 14-12 / 9-11 / 11-9 / 11-5 to take the plate series of the 2014 Kijono Cup Men's Open. Focused and determined from the start, Mac started strong racing to 7-1 score.
In the second round, Robert faced a tall and bulky Pakistani in the name of Wassem Gul. It was the most exciting 2nd round match as it filled the seats of the center to the top. The games see-sawed as the Pakistani won the 1st and 3rd sets while Robert took the 2nd and 4th set; the fifth set was toe to toe until 7-6 with Robert trailing by 1.
The Philippine team composed of Robert Garcia, Mac Begornia, Don Espinola and David Pelino participated at the annual Kijono Squash Cup held in Jakarta, Indonesia last May 16-18. A regional cup participated by countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan and the Philippines, it is the first international tournament of the team this year.
Players from The British Club of Singapore composed of Jaime Salamon, Craig Telmer, Neil Miller, Mansoor Tirmzi, Jan Du Preez, Carl Jackson and Atty. Leung Whig Wah arrived Manila last Thursday, May 8 for their annual ASEAN Squash Tour.
Last April 9, Robert Garcia, the country's best squash player and Zafer Kabbara, Lebanon's National Squash Coach played a friendly match held at the Manila Polo Club. Zafer was pleasantly surprised at the level of Squash here in the country. He further mentioned, that just like The Philippines, Lebanon's Squash Community is still quite limited but there are plans to develop it in the near future and hopefully compete with Arab power houses like Iran and Jordan. He looks forward to bringing in his team and play friendly matches with the Philippine National Team.
Last February 1, Peak Form launched its first Fitness Quotient challenge at the High School Gym of Xavier School Greenhills. A total of 10 stations were set-up to measure an athletes' strength, explosiveness, speed, agility, coordination, balance, flexibility, endurance, recovery and mental state.
Check out where you can play Squash in the country. Most places indicated are located either in private clubs or offices and may therefore require an endorsement from a club member. The officers of SRAP will be able to assist you in this matter.
May 20 - 25, 2013 Makati Sports Club
SRAP, in cooperation with Greenfields Development Corporation and Tavidell Law Offices held the 2nd Leg of the National Squash Tournament at the Makati Sports Club last May 20-25.Read more >>
SRAP, in cooperation with The Asian Squash Federation (ASF) conducted a referee's clinic led by ASF Referees Director - Mr. Munir Shah.Read more >>