PHILIPPINE badminton will undergo yet another facelift this year.
Despite the on-going leadership dispute, the Philippine Badminton Association is holding try-outs for the national training pool and has also tapped the services of an Indonesian coach to spearhead the team’s rebuilding.
National coach Allan de Leon said there will be tryouts from Jan. 16-18 at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall to decide the composition of the new RP team which will embark on international campaigns including the Laos Southeast Asian Games.
The PBA has also hired Indonesian coach Indra Setiawan, who has had stints training local age-group players in the country.
Since the sport experienced a popularity boom four years ago, there have been an influx of Indonesian coaches and players in the country including Thomas Cup winner Rudy Gunawan.
But they are mostly tied up with clubs, unlike Setiawan who is the first foreign coach to handle the national team.
“I will try to do the best things for the 2009 SEA Games all the way,” said Setiawan in an e-mail. “Because it’s my great hope and first priority.”
It’s a tall order for him and his prospective players, though, as the country has gone home empty-handed from the SEAG since siblings Kennie and Kennevic Asuncion bagged bronze in the 2003 edition.
“Even for a short time, I just hope the support from all parties to my programs,” added Setiawan. “There is a need to train very hard for the sake of the country’s name.”
The PBA is optimistic the rebuilding will blunt the effects of the internal wrangling inside the association between former First Lady Ming Ramos, and former head coach Errol Chan.
Chan was elected president reportedly by 60 clubs nationwide during an election two months ago. But the PBA didn’t recognize the polls because Ramos’ term is only supposed to end this year.