Negrense smasher raring for TDG Cup

ALEM Palmares showing his championship trophy and medal as NU Bulldogs win their fourth consecutive finals title in the UAAP season 80. (A. Palmares)

A 21-YEAR-old colossal shutter from Negros Occidental believes that badminton will open more opportunities for him as he slowly makes a name in collegiate competitions.

Born in Manapla and raised in Cadiz City, Alem Juyamao Palmares is one of the smashers who are now gearing up for the 12th The Daily Guardian Badminton Cup on Nov. 4-5, 2017 at CitiSports Badminton Courts on Benigno Aquino Drive in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

It will be Palmares’ fourth time to compete in the annual badminton cup. In fact, he pocketed two championships in open men’s double in 2014-2015 and a third place finish in 2016.

Palmares told The Daily Guardian that he hopes to improve his performance in the next month’s cup. He said his recent feat in the UAAP will help him gain exposure and skills to compete against stronger players.

The fourth child and only son among five siblings, Palmares’ mother Emmie works as a sales supervisor while his stepfather is a former welder.

“I started playing badminton when I was 9 years old as it was introduced to me by my classmate and former teammate/partner, Robert Aloyan.  I initially thought of badminton as just a simple child’s play, something ordinary and for fun purposes only. Never did it occur to me that it would pave the way for my education and future,” shared Palmares.

Palmares later earned a college scholarship at the National University (NU) and became the school’s varsity player under the NU Bulldogs team.

But before smashing his way to the national arena, Palmares was also a consistent champion during his elementary years at the Cadiz East Elementary School II and secondary at the Villacin National High School.

“My family has been supportive of my badminton career since the beginning, but there was a time that they asked me to stop because I was getting thinner and thinner and was not able to focus more on my studies. However, my principal at that time, Edgardo G. Siaton personally went to our house and convinced my parents to lift my supposed badminton ban because he said and I quote ‘He has the potential to become a great player and it would be a waste not to cultivate it in his early years’,” Palmares narrated.

The Negrense athlete continued his badminton career by joining Jaguar Badminton Academy which led him to roughly 40 tournaments locally and internationally, clinching almost 20 gold medals.

Aside from TDG Cup, Palmares also joined the Philippine National Games, University Games, Age group National Tournaments, Open National Tournaments, and Equie Parco Cups.

He also helped win the crown in the UAAP Badminton Tournament for the National University Bulldogs.

“I’m also finishing up my college degree in Marketing Management in NU. I’m very thankful to those who motivated and encouraged me to pursue this craft. I would like to thank this one special person who is a great factor for my triumphs not only in badminton but also in life, Sir Jordan E. Sun. He was my trainer during my fetus days in the badminton world,” Palmares added.

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