Badminton

Still the queen: De Guzman completes Philippine Badminton Open sweep

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Still the queen: De Guzman completes Philippine Badminton Open sweep

CHAMP AGAIN. Mika de Guzman celebrates winning back-to-back crowns in the Philippine Badminton Open.

PHILIPPINE BADMINTO OPEN

Three-time UAAP MVP Mika de Guzman pulls off an undefeated run to rule the Philippine Badminton Open for the second straight year

MANILA, Philippines – Mika de Guzman overcame a brief scare in the finale to live up to her champion billing in the Philippine Badminton Open. 

A three-time UAAP MVP, De Guzman thwarted Ysabel Amora’s second-set challenge, 21-11, 14-21, 21-8, to complete a perfect run and grab the 2024 women’s singles crown on Tuesday, June 11, at the Gameville Ball Park in Mandaluyong City.

“I’m so thankful for my coaches… because they helped me a lot and they were a big factor for making me strong mentally and in the physical preparation for this tournament,” said De Guzman in Filipino.

After her back-to-back title romp, De Guzman, who’s also a champion in the 2023 APACS Kazakhstan International Series champion, credited coaches Joper Escueta, Kenneth Monterubio, Ariel Magnaye, and Kennie Asuncion-Robles for playing key roles in her undefeated campaign.

Jelo Albo, however, hacked out a surprise after capturing the men’s singles championship as the Smash Pilipinas bet downed Clarence Villaflor of Cadiz-JBA/Apacs  21-13, 21-9, in the title match.

“I’m so happy with my performance… my game plan was to finish the match quickly,” Albo said in Filipino. 

“I woke up excited to play and wanting to get the championship,” the 20-year-old University of the Philippines student added.

Lea Inlayo and Nicole Albo defended their women’s doubles title, dominating UP’s Kimberly Lao and Patricia De Dios, 21-12, 21-7, in the finale.

Ariel Magnaye and Christian Bernardo ruled the men’s doubles after reigning champions Solomon Padiz Jr. and Julius Villabrille retired, with Padiz Jr. nursing an abdominal injury.

Magnaye and Bernardo won with a 22-20, 15-21, 20-17 decision after an intense battle.

Bernardo also capped the tournament with two titles, as he and Alyssa Leonardo won the mixed doubles, downing Villabrille and Albo, 21-19, 19-21, 21-14, in the final.

Winners in the singles categories of the Philippine Super 500 tournament received P100,000 for the champion and P50,000 for the runner-up, 

A prize of P15,000 also went to the third- and fourth-placers of the event backed by Smart, Mizuno, the Philippine Sports Commission, and the MVP Sports Foundation, and supported by Jollibee, Chowking, the First Pacific Leadership Academy, Maynilad, MWell, and Cignal.

In doubles action of the  weeklong tourney, champions took home P120,000, runners-up P60,000, and third- and fourth-placers P30,000 each. – Rappler.com

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