Marc Velasco completed his dream run in the 2023 Philippine Badminton Open, ruling the men’s single event, Sunday at the Dragonsmash Badminton Center in Makati.
Velasco, who dealt top-seed Ros Pedrosa the upset just the other day, had to work his way past fellow NU youngin Lanz Zafra, 17-21, 21-12, 21-17.
But it was in the men’s doubles that saw the mother of all upsets.
Solomon Padiz Jr. and Julius Villabrille took down heavily favored Alvin Morada and Christian Bernardo to win the men’s doubles title.
The duo out of National University completed a come-from-behind 17-21, 21-17, 23-21 over the highly-ranked duo, who had just won the 31st Iran Fajr International Challenge champions a month ago.
Villabrille expressed his gratitude to Mr. Manny Pangilinan, president of the MVP Group of Companies, and the Philippine Badminton Association for having this tournament back after three years.
“Sobrang saya dahil hindi namin ine-expect ‘tong pagkapanalo namin. Basta ang mindset namin ng partner ko is ‘Laban lang.’ Wala namang mawawala sa ‘min. Bigay lang namin at magpakita kami kay boss, family, at sa fans na nag-aabang sa ‘min,” he shared at the end of the tournament that is backed by Yamaha, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, SMART, MWell, Maynila, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, and Meralco.
Villabrille earlier won the mixed doubles title alongside Nicole Albo, bringing down Padiz Jr. and Lea Inlayo in a similar comeback, 13-21. 24-22, 21-18 in 70 minutes.
Albo and Inlayo, on the other hand, also went the distance against Thea Pomar and Lea Inlayo, 13-21, 24-22, 21-13, to pocket the women’s doubles plum after a 50-minute marathon.
The champions in the doubles play got a trophy, gold medals, and P 150,000 for each pair while the runners-up had P 75,000 and silver medals. Each semifinalist pair was awarded P 20,000 and bronze medals.
Mika De Guzman, on her part, ended her dominant run in the Open with a 21-10, 21-7 win over Christel Rei Fuentespina.
Velasco and De Guzman each received P 70,000, a trophy, and gold medals, while Zafra and Fuentespina each collected P 35,000 and silver medals. The singles semifinalists each got P 15,000 and bronze medals.