Jamal Pandi and Althea Dawn Ocampo led the winners in the 2023 Philippine Badminton Association Juniors Regional Badminton Series, with the successful conclusion of the Pampanga leg on Sunday at the Delta Badminton Center in San Fernando.
Only 16 years old but showing great promise, Pandi secured not one, but two titles after topping both the boys’ U-19 and U-17 categories in the tournament backed by the Philippine Sports Commission and Pampanga Governor Dennis ‘Delta’ Pineda.
The rising star of Smash Pilipinas out of Cagayan de Oro defeated Robert Ishmael Ramos 21-19, 21-19, and Manuel Nhito Fulmentera 21-13, 21-11, to secure the respective titles.
Meanwhile, Ocampo, who hails from Misamis Oriental, overcame Christal Rei Fuentespina in a showdown of national team members, 21-19, 14-21, 21-19, to clinch the U-19 girls’ crown in the three-day event, also sponsored Protech PH, Reckitt/Lysol, Pocari Sweat, Alaska, A2Z Customs, Cignal TV, SMART, and FMKD.
However, Fuentespina rebounded with a victory in the U-17 girls’ singles, defeating Gweneth June Chiva 21-4, 21-13.
Christian Dorega and Mark Anthony Bernal fought tenaciously against Ethan Josh Dupet and Marcjoel Clarence Perez, securing the U-19 boys’ doubles title with a score of 22-20, 21-16.
Althea Princess Hernandez and Precious Dianne Libaton breezed past Jhiane Sabarillo and Rehina Zoey Denise Bayudang 21-7, 21-7, to claim the girls’ doubles title in the same age group.
Hernandez partnered with Shan Clar to earn her second title of the day, the U-19 mixed doubles, where they narrowly defeated Gift Resuello Linaban and Libaton 21-15, 21-17.
The U-17 category winners included boys’ doubles champions John Vincent Lanuza and Ralph Niño Dalojo of Palawan, girls’ doubles titlists Andrea Princess Hernandez and Mary Destiny Untal, and mixed doubles victors Rainier Mendoza and Ashley Bernardino.
In the U-15 group, Shachie Arabelle Calderon secured both the girls’ singles and doubles titles, the latter alongside Hannah Keziah Granadillos.
Stephen James Pantuan also clinched two championships in boys’ singles and mixed doubles with Ma. Nicole Notorio. They were joined by Louise Gabriel Bernardino and Roaquine Mari Gumatay Ramos, who secured the boys’ doubles title.
The U-13 and U-11 tournaments saw Aizen Gabriel Vergel (boys’ singles U-13), Rhoanne Cloe Sabarillo (girls’ singles U-13), Carlitos Joe Corrales (boys’ singles U-11), and Niña Princess Velasco (girls’ singles U-11) completing the list of victors for the day.