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PH Badminton Open: Pedrosa makes statement win ahead of MS semis


ROS Leenard Pedrosa pulled through with a solid statement win in the quarterfinals against national juniors team standout Jamal Pandi of men’s singles in the 2023 Philippine Badminton Open, Friday at the Dragonsmash Badminton Center in Makati City.

The top male player in the country Pedrosa needed 35 minutes to take care of the 15-year-old upstart but eventually took a 21-11, 21-15 win to move into the semifinals in this tournament backed by Yamaha, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, MWell, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, and Meralco.

Pedrosa will face Mark Velasco in the semis after the latter won 21-12, 21-10 over King Arthur Espiritu. Lance Vargas and Lanz Zafra will take care of the other pairing after victories past UAAP standouts Lyrden Laborte, 21-17, 14-21, 21-14, and Kervin Llanes, 18-21, 21-16, 21-18, respectively.

No less than Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Dickie Bachmann witnessed the day’s events.

“I am very happy to see all the badminton players finally compete again in such a scale, seeing athletes compete across all ages, levels, and skill sets. I am just glad that sports is slowly getting back,” the newly appointed sports agency head shared.

Mika De Guzman paced the women’s side with quick work of Ysabel Amora, 21-11, 21-9. Meanwhile, Christel Rei Fuentespina fended off Karyll Rio, 21-19, 13-21, 21-12, to take care of her side of the draw.

National team (Smash Pilipinas) doubles standouts took care of business in their respective events.

Alvin Morada and Christian Bernardo dominated surprise quarterfinalists Jeno Carino and Allen Penute, 21-11, 21-15, to go into the last four of men’s doubles against Jerick Obaob and Johan Rivas. Julius Villabrille and Solomon Padiz Jr., who won against Jason Vanzuela and Michael Clemente, 21-9, 19-21, 21-14 will go up against another UP-Allied Badminton duo in Kervin Llanes and Paul Gonzales for a place in the final.

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Alyssa Leonardo and Thea Pomar breezed past Gabrielle Ainza and Kate Amigable, 21-9, 21-9, in the women’s play, while Nicole Albo and Lea Inlayo fashioned a similar rout of Althea Hernandez and Tia Bualat, 21-6, 21-12.

Morada and Leonardo also paced the mixed doubles semifinalists after a 21-15, 21-10 win over Arthur Salvado Jr. and Missy Cervantes in 25 minutes. Joining them are Bernardo and Pomar on the other side, 21-11, 21-12 victors over Clemente and Andrea Abalos.

The action intensifies in this Super 1000 tournament supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee as the finalists will be known when it takes its penultimate day on Saturday.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.


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