The first-ever Philippine Intercollegiate Badminton Championships will serve as a preseason tournament for the upcoming UAAP and NCAA seasons later this year.
The tilt – organized by Philippine Badminton Association (PBAD), co-presented by SMART, and supported by MVP Sports Foundation – would be on September 10 and 11, and takes place at Centro Atletico in Cubao, Quezon City.
“The main objective of this tournament is to give another avenue for our athletes at our collegiate level,” said Project Director Imee Moreno in the press conference held at Gloria Maris in San Juan on Wednesday.
“As we all know here in the Philippines there are very few avenues… that can serve as their training ground,” added Moreno, who is also serving as a councilor in Cagayan de Oro City.
Also attending the announcement were PBAD Secretary-General Christopher Quimpo; PBAD Vice President and PLDT/SMART Head of Sports Jude Turcuato; and SMART Communications FVP for Go-To-Market Melvin Nubla.
The league is targeting eight competing universities and colleges, but has yet to divulge which schools will participate.
However, they said most teams from the UAAP have already verbally committed.
SMART will continue to partner with PBAD in promoting badminton, this time entering collegiate levels, after the Philippines’ hosting of the 2022 Badminton Asia Championships last April.
“SMART is here to support the initiatives of PBAD especially since we started already with Badminton Asia a few months ago,” said Nubla.
“With the opening of the classes also happening, we decided to really work with PBAD to have a preseason badminton tournament.”
This will also serve as a jumpstart to the national badminton rankings, according to Turcuato, who is also the executive director of the MVPSF.
The tourney being the first-ever, the organizers agreed to waive the registration fee for all participating schools.
There will be five divisions: men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles.
The champions will bag P50,000 while the second placers will get P20,000. Two third placers will be awarded P10,000 each and medals.
Quimpo said they expect the PIBC to be an annual event and will continue to serve as a preview for the big leagues.
“It’s gonna be an annual thing. Pretty much before it was SMART Open but this one now, clearly it’s more defined.”