The mixed doubles pair of Ariel Magnaye and Thea Pomar and the women's doubles tandem of Pomar and Alyssa Leonardo were able to bag bronze in the 2018 Sydney International Open in Australia. The event was held last September 19 to 23 at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Hall.
Though the badminton program of the Philippine Badminton Association is in a rebuilding phase, federation president Albee Benitez never doubted the team's capabilities.
"We never doubted the team's ability to win. It is through international tournaments that we can validate our program," Benitez expressed.
Former UAAP Most Valuable Player Magnaye, formerly of National University, and current NU sophomore Thea Pomar advanced to the semifinals of the mixed doubles event after taking a 21-16, 19-21, 21-10 over Kiwi pair of Niccolo Tagle and Anona Pak.
Pomar continued her winning ways, this time pairing with UAAP Women's Badminton champion Alyssa Leonardo in the women's doubles division. The duo took down New Zealand's Pak and Fransisca Rahardia in straight sets, 21-19, 25-23.
"Joining international tournaments have become significant for the development of our players. In a few years, the goal is to produce Filipino world champions, para sa bayan," added secretary-general Christopher Quimpo.
Magnaye and Pomar though succumb in two close sets against Japan's Tadayuka Urai and Rena Miyauri, 20-22, 19-21 in the mixed doubles semifinals while Pomar and Leonardo were ousted by Chinese-Taipei's Li Ting Peng and Chien Hui Yu, 11-21, 12-21.
"Congratulations to Peter, Thea, and Alyssa. You made the country proud!" Benitez closed as the federation is planning more international and local tournaments to give our country's shuttlers more exposure.
Nicole Albo, Sarah Barredo, Joper Escueta, Paul Pantig, Alvin Morada, Ros Pedrosa, and Solomon Padiz were also part of the national team contingent. Arolas Amahit Jr. and Ralph Mendez served as the team's head coaches.