Top Shuttlers Velasco,  De Guzman Defend Titles at PH Badminton Open

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    Top Shuttlers Velasco,  De Guzman Defend Titles at PH Badminton Open

    Smashing hardcourt action is coming as the bigger and more competitive Philippine Badminton Open 2024 begins today (Wednesday) at the First Pacific Leadership Academy Badminton Center in Antipolo City.

    This year, the Philippine Super 500 tournament boasts a prize pool of P1,000,000 across five divisions: men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles.

    Winners in the singles categories will receive P100,000 for the champion, P50,000 for the runner-up, and P15,000 for the third- and fourth-placers. In the doubles tournaments, champions will take home P120,000, runners-up P60,000, and third- and fourth-placers P30,000 each.

     

    Mark Anthony Velasco and Mika De Guzman, both standouts from the UAAP and the national team, will defend their respective singles crowns in this tournament backed by Smart, Mizuno, the Philippine Sports Commission, and the MVP Sports Foundation.

     

    Velasco will try to keep the men's title against a huge field of 200 other male shuttlers starting on Thursday, as he drew a bye into the Round of 128.

     

    It is Rabie Jayson Oba-ob of the Philippine Air Force, the tournament's top seed, who will see action on the all-men's singles opening day with his first-round match later in the afternoon against either Mark Arki Enseñado or Kirk Nathan Abarquez in this event also backed by Jollibee, Chowking, and the FPLA.

     

    Matches will air on the Facebook pages of Smart Sports, Puso Pilipinas, and the Philippine Badminton Association. Cignal will also air the knockout matches on June 11.

     

    De Guzman, on the other hand, will not see action until Friday against Adamson University's Danice Jhean Colao or De La Salle University's Mia Manguilimotan in the Round of 32, in a half of the draw that also includes familiar foes such as University of the Philippines' Anthea Gonzalez and National University's Sarah Joy Barredo.

     

    In the doubles events, Julius Villabrille and Nicole Albo will be gunning for another twin championship, looking to defend their mixed doubles title starting with a battle against University of Santo Tomas' Bien Miraflor and Rhafi Santos.

     

    Villabrille will team up with fellow national team standout Solomon Padiz Jr. on the men's side starting with their second-round encounter on Friday, while Albo will join forces with Smash Pilipinas teammate Lea Inlayo in their women's title defense beginning on the same day, in this week-long event also presented by Maynilad, MWell, and Cignal.

     

    The eliminations from June 5 to June 9 and the semifinals on June 10 will be held in the Antipolo venue, while the finals on June 11 will be held at the Gameville Ball Park in Mandaluyong City.