NU Bulldogs dominate national badminton tourney
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 18, 2018 06:32 PM
(Photo courtesy of PBA)
Just like in the UAAP, the shuttlers from the National University Bulldogs dominated the 2018 Smart National Open Badminton tournament last Saturday at the Ayala Mall in South Park, Alabang.
Headlining the champions crowned were UAAP Season 79 Men's Badminton MVP Ros Pedrosa and UAAP Season 81 Women's Badminton Rookie of the Year Sarah Barredo.
Barredo, the top female badminton player in the country, blitzed the competition as she never dropped a set.
The 19-year-old, who trained at William and William Gabuelo Badminton Academy before making it to the national team, made quick work of Mia Manguilimotan in the semis, 21-8, 21-9. She then capped her spectacular campaign with a sweep of Mikaela Joy de Guzman, who bested third-seed Jochelle Alvarez in the semis, 21-13, 21-12.
"Every win is important and precious sa akin and for the national team," shared Barredo, who led NU to a fourth place finish this season. "My UAAP experience is an opener for a new chapter in my student-athlete life. This one legitimized my ranking as the number one in the Philippines."
For the men's side, third-ranked Pedrosa showcased his experience over second-ranked shuttler Solomon Padiz of PBA Smash Pilipinas in the men's singles finals, 21-13, 22-20.
Pedrosa was able to set up a showdown with Padiz after staving off a tough challenge from Rabie Oba-ob, 21-19, 22-20.
Padiz, on the other hand, ended the Cinderella run of UP Fighting Maroon JM Bernardo, 21-18, 21-14.
In the men's doubles division that saw two of the top tandems in the country square off, NU great Ariel Magnaye and long-time partner Alvin Morada imposed their dominance over Joper Escueta and Paul John Pantig, 21-8, 21-9, in the finale.
Magnaye though could not pick up a double championship as he and Pomar could not overcome the duo of Alvin Morada and Alyssa Leonardo, 23-21, 23-25, 21-17.
Pomar went home with gold as well as her partnership with fellow National Team stalwart Leonardo swept the duo of Kanna Baba and Mariya Sevilla, 21-17, 21-14. Pomar and Leonardo did not drop a single set as well.
“This will be the main event of this year. Next year, we are focusing on international tournaments,” said Philippine Badminton Association secretary-general Christopher Quimpo on behalf of president Albee Benitez.
"We need to host world-class tournaments like this to show that we are ready to host the 2019 Southeast Asian Games," he added.