MANILA, Philippines – Much like in the UAAP, the shuttlers from National University dominated the 2018 Smart National Open Badminton tournament, Saturday at the Ayala Mall in South Park, Alabang.
Headlining the champions crowned are UAAP Season 79 Men's Badminton Most Valuable Player 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 did not drop a set throughout the tournament.
She 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 and 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.
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