By Jean Malanum

CHAMPION. University of the Philippines’ Jewel Angelo Albo bags the men’s singles title after beating Clarence Villaflor of Cadiz-JBA/Apacs, 21-13, 21-9, in the final of the Philippine Badminton Open at Gameville Ball Park in Mandaluyong City on Tuesday (June 11, 2024). Albo received PHP100,000 while Villaflor got PHP50,000. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Badminton Association)

MANILA – University of the Philippines’ player Jewel Angelo Albo defeated Clarence Villaflor of Cadiz-JBA/Apacs, 21-13, 21-9, to capture the men’s singles title in the Philippine Badminton Open at the Gameville Ball Park in Mandaluyong City on Tuesday.

Albo, the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 Rookie of the Year, received PH100,000 while Villaflor settled for the PHP50,000 runner-up prize.

“Tuwang-tuwa ako sa performance ko kasi kagabi pa lang minindset ko kung ano ‘yung mga dapat kong gawin ngayong araw na ito. ‘Yung game plan ko lang na tulad kahapon na huwag patagalin ‘yung laro. Gumising ako kanina na excited maglaro at para kunin ‘yong championship na ito (I am very happy with my performance because just last night, I thought about what I should do today. My game plan is just like yesterday not to prolong the game. I woke up excited to play and to win this championship),” Albo, 20, said after the match.

Albo advanced to the finals after pulling off a 21-12, 21-10 upset over top seed RJ Oba-ob of Philippine Air Force on Monday.

In the women’s singles, top seed Mikaela Joy De Guzman turned back Ysabel Amora, 21-11, 14-21, 21-8, to retain her title.

The incoming fourth year student of Ateneo de Manila University also earned PHP100,000 and Amora half the first prize.

“I would like to thank my coaches — coach Joper (Escueta), coach Kenneth (Monterubio), coach Ariel (Magnaye), and coach Kennie (Asuncion-Robles) because they helped me a lot and they are big factors in boosting my mental and physical preparation in this tournament,” the 2023 APACS Kazakhstan International Series champion said.

“I’m really happy that I won again in this Philippine Badminton Open. I would like to thank Sir MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan) for supporting the national team and to our coaches who helped us get the wins,” she added.

Meanwhile, Lea Inlayo and Nicole Albo outclassed UP’s Kimberly Lao and Patricia De Dios, 21-12, 21-7, to defend the women’s doubles title.

In the men’s doubles, Ariel Magnaye and Christian Bernardo unseated Solomon Padiz Jr. and Julius Villabrille, who retired.

The score was 22-20, 15-21, 20-17 in favor of Magnaye-Bernardo when Padiz was forced to quit due to an abdominal injury.

Bernardo annexed the mixed doubles title, teaming up with Alyssa Leonardo to beat Villabrille and Albo, 21-19, 19-21, 21-14, in the final.

The doubles champions got PHP120,000, the runners-up PHP60,000 and the third and fourth placers PHP30,000 each. (PNA)