Villabrille, Padiz champs with upset win

The Philippine Star
Villabrille, Padiz champs with upset win
Julius Villabrille and Solomon Padiz Jr. react after gaining the championship point.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Julius Villabrille and Solomon Padiz Jr. pulled off a stunner at the conclusion of the 2023 Philippine Badminton Open, taking down heavily favored Alvin Morada and Christian Bernardo for the men’s doubles title Sunday at the Dragonsmash Badminton Center in Makati.

The pair of National University and fellow national team (Smash Pilipinas) standouts hacked out a come-from-behind 17-21, 21-17, 23-21 win in the tournament backed by Yamaha, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., Smart, MWell, Maynila, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., and Meralco.

Villabrille expressed gratitude to Smart/PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, the godfather of Philippine badminton, and the Philippine Badminton Association for having this tournament back after three years.

Villabrille earlier won the mixed doubles title alongside Nicole Albo, bringing down Padiz Jr. and Lea Inlayo, 13-21, 24-22, 21-18 in similar come-from-behind fashion.

Albo and Inlayo, on the other hand, also went the distance against Thea Pomar and Lea Inlayo, 13-21, 24-22, 21-13, in the women’s doubles final.

In singles play, Smash Pilipinas upstarts Mark Velasco and Mika de Guzman produced contrasting wins in this Super 500 tournament supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.

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