MVP Cup 2

MVP Cup 2 was held last July 14-16, 2006 at the Araneta Coliseum. It was another memorable event to all badminton fanatics around. Thanks to the organizers who gave away lots of free tickets, watching the MVP this year was lighter on the pocket. This event is a rare gathering of top badminton players playing not for their country, but in honor of their continent – Europe vs. Asia. This concept of MVP (which others say is reminiscent of the Ryder Cup) is really great. Aside from seeing my favorite players live in action, the off-court scenes were a pleasant sight also. Some players who usually rival each other, like Lin Dan of China and Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia, were now teammates under the banner of Asia. I’ve seen Zhang Ning, the top female singles player from China, exchanging hearty laughs with Saralee, a female player of Thailand. And of course, only on this rare event have I seen the head coaches giving advice to their respective teammates of different nationalities. Filipino shuttler, Vic Asuncion, had to translate what the Chinese head coach was saying to some Malaysian and Indonesian teammates.

Team Asia was predicted to win the event by a mile but Team Europe bagged the top prize of USD 60,000 to the bewilderment of the crowd. Team Asia went home with USD 40,000. The most unexpected upset was when Yao Jie of Netherlands beat World No. 1 Zhang Ning in 3 sets. That game sealed the victory for Europe. The last match between Lin Dan and Kenneth Jonassen of Denmark became a non-bearing game.

Too bad I didn’t have a chance this time to get autographs from the players. That’s okay. I enjoyed the games more this year as there were better match-ups, as compared to some lopsided ones last year. Team Europe was underestimated but they showed absolutely terrific performances to walk away as the deserving winners. Maybe that will teach Team Asia not to be lax next year. Looking forward to MVP Cup 3!
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