BEGORNIA BAGS MEN’S SINGLES GOLD IN 5TH SEA CUP SQUASH TILT
GOLDEN PERFORMANCE: Reymark Begornia goes for a backhand shot against Singapore’s Benedict Chan in the men’s singles finals of the 5thSoutheast Asian Cup Squash Championships at the Kerry Sports courts inside the Shangri-la at The Fort on Wednesday (April 10, 2019). (Photo courtesy of PSA)
MANILA — Reymark Begornia bagged the men’s singles title in the 5th Southeast Asian Cup Squash Championships after posting 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9 win over Singapore’s Benedict Chan at the Kerry Sports courts inside the Shangri-la Hotel in Taguig City on Wednesday night.
In an intense duel of nerves in the deciding fifth and final set, Chan was the first to blink, succumbing to three successive mid-game errors that Begornia exploited on the way to capturing the gold medal, after 61 thrilling minutes of action in the tournament organized by the Philippine Squash Academy (PSA).
It was the first major international title for the lanky 5-foot-11 racket-wielder, who completed a four-match sweep of his stint that gave the hosts their first mint in the six-nation competition backed by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, and MVP Sports Foundation.
Malaysia’s Noor Ainaa Amanti Binti Amani Binti Ampandi came back from a first-set deficit to down Singapore’s Sneha Sivakumar, 6-11, 117, 11-9, 11-6, in clinching the women’s gold medal of the competition also supported by Alaska Fortified Milk, Jollibee, Meralco, PLDT, Salming and Dunlop, the official ball.
“I just kept my patience, especially in the fifth set,” Begornia noted as he savored the hard-earned triumph that drew cheers from the small but lively hometown gallery witnessing the spine-tingling battle between two evenly-matched rivals.
“This is a great win for Macmac (Begornia’s nickname). He was all effort and all heart and truly deserves the victory,” national coach Manu Yam pointed out. “He played a calculating game but was also willing to take risks, which paid off.”
PSA president Robert Bachmann, who witnessed the close match from start to finish, was enthused by Begornia’s performance, saying, “What Macmac did was epic! He never gave up. This is a major breakthrough for him.”
Due to the player’s sensational showing, Bachmann bared that the athlete would receive a “significant” bonus for his efforts.