Siblings Malvinne Ann Venice and Mark Alcala ruled their age-group at the recently concluded Swiss International Junior Badminton Championships.
Malvinne, 16, ruled the 19-under division while Mark, only 13, topped the 17-under division.
Malvinne whipped England’s Nathalie Chan-Lam, 21-7, 21-17, in the semis and stopped Belgium’s Marie Demy, 21-5 (retired) in the finals. Mark stunned Sean Vendy of England, 3-21, 21-8, 21-12, for the title.
Mark was the underdog against the 17-year-old Vendy who stood over six feet. But the 5-foot-3 Filipino was all over the court to score the come-from-behind victory.
Last May, the PBA tapped the services of 1996 Olympics gold medalist Rexy Mainaky of Indonesia as head coach of the Philippine team, and there has been a tremendous turnaround in just five months.
Other Filipino men’s team players making great strides in the rankings are Ariel Magnaye and Joper Escueta, who jumped to 108th in the world from the high 200s just before Mainaky came in.
Ronel Estanislao and Paul Vivas have also moved to 232nd from no ranking at all. They are set to compete in the main draw of the Indonesian GP following stints in Super Series tournaments in Indonesia and Japan.
The national players are getting busy because this month they will see action in the Badminton Asia Youth in Dongguan, China on Oct. 10-14, Irish Future Series in Ireland Oct. 11-14, Swiss International Oct 18-21, France Super Series Oct. 23-28, and World Junior Championships in Chiba, Japan Oct. 25-Nov. 3.