National team stalwart Ros Pedrosa took down upstart Jewel Angelo Albo in three sets, 10-21, 21-18, 21-12, to sweep Group B and book his place in the men’s singles semifinals of the MVP Second Badminton Cup undefeated, Thursday at the Olympic Badminton Center in Pasig City.
Rallying back from a dismal opening set, Pedrosa, a product of National University dominated the decider to take the top seed in the five-man Group B over erstwhile co-leader Albo.
Pedrosa emphasized the importance of finally having this tournament just a few months away from the 31st Southeast Asian Games. “Sobrang importante po,” he said. “Iba pa rin po yung situation sa tournament po kagaya nito. Dito po namin kasi maa-assess yung mga weakness po namin. Tsaka for experience din po and mind-setting.”
In women’s singles, UAAP Season 82 Rookie of the Year Mikaela De Guzman paced the round-robin phase with a clean 5-0 record after two wins past Jaja Andres and Sarah Barredo. The Ateneo junior swept Andres, 21-18, 21-11, and then handed the win as Barredo retired in the third set after a 19-21, 21-13 battle in the first two games.
Barredo, who cramped up against De Guzman, finished as the second seed after the round-robin with a win over Andres, 21-13, 16-21, 21-10. On the other hand, Anthea Gonzalez completed the semifinals cast after sweeping her matches of the day over Angel Valle, 22-20, 21-7, and Cristel Fuentespina, 21-12, 21-13.
In the men’s singles semifinals, Pedrosa will take on Velasco while Oba-ob will face Albo. On the other hand, De Guzman and Barredo will battle Fuentespina and Andres, respectively, for a chance to play for the women’s singles title.
In men’s doubles, National University standouts July Villabrille and Solomon Padiz Jr. completed a 4-0 sweep of the round-robin, closing it out with a 21-16 14-21, 21-14 decision over fellow Bulldogs Alvin Morada and James Villarante.
Long-time national team mainstay Paul Pantig and new partner Christian Bernardo took the second spot in the eliminations as they ended their day with a win over Joshua Morada and Jason Vanzuela, 21-16, 16-21, 21-14.
For the distaff’s side, Thea Pomar and Nicole Albo emerged as their respective group winners as they completed a sweep of the round-robin matches to arrange their subsequent team-up heading into the semifinals.
Pomar earlier paired up with Susmita Ramos in the 21-10, 21-10 win over Jocelle Alvarez and Althea Fuentespina, and then took down Ramos-Alvarez, 21-14, 23-21. Albo, on her part, won with Aubrey Masongsong over Lea Inlayo and Andrea Hernandez, 24-22, 21-23, 21-15, and then with Hernandez against Inlayo-Masongsong, 23-21, 21-15.
The men’s doubles semifinals will pit Villabrille and Padiz Jr. against JM Bernardo and Michael Clemente, and Christian Bernardo and Pantig over Morada and Villarante. On the women’s side, Pomar and Albo will take on Althea Fuentespina and Masongsong, while Ramos and Inlayo will face Alvarez and Hernandez.
The semifinals and finals matches are set for Friday, February 25, starting at 4 p.m.
This tournament is backed by Smash Pilipinas, SMART, MVP Sports Foundation, the Philippine Olympic Committee, the Philippine Sports Commission, Leisure and Resorts World Corporation, Metro Pacific Investments, Concrete Stone Corp., and Robinson’s Land.