The 2018 Smart National Open Badminton tournament belonged to the National University Bulldogs.
Held last Saturday at the Ayala Mall in South Park, Alabang, UAAP Season 79 Men's Badminton Most Valuable Player Ros Pedrosa and UAAP Season 81 Women's Badminton Rookie of the Year Sarah Barredo took over the competition.
Barredo, 19, remains the top female badminton player in the country after she swept the field and proved her dominance without dropping a single set.
The young star breezed past Mia Manguilimotan in the semis, 21-8, 21-9, then followed it up with another sweep versus Mikaela Joy de Guzman, who bested third-seed Jochelle Alvarez in the semis, 21-13, 21-12.
"Every win is important and precious for me and for the national team," shared Barredo, who trained at William and William Gabuelo Badminton Academy before representing the country.
"My UAAP experience is an opener for a new chapter in my student-athlete life. This one legitimized my ranking as the number one in the Philippines," she added after leading NU to a fourth place finish this season.
In the men's division, third-ranked Pedrosa used his experience and overwhelmed second-ranked shuttler Solomon Padiz of PBA Smash Pilipinas in the men's singles finals, 21-13, 22-20.
Pedroza made it into the finals after edging Rabie Oba-ob, 21-19, 22-20 in the semis. Padiz, on the other hand, bested JM Bernardo, 21-18, 21-14, ending the spectacular run by the UP Fighting Maroon.
NU great Ariel Magnaye and long-time partner Alvin Morada won the men's doubles division, defeating Joper Escueta and Paul John Pantig, 21-8, 21-9.
Magnaye though could not pick up a second title as he and Pomar failed to overcome the duo of Alvin Morada and Alyssa Leonardo, 23-21, 23-25, 21-17.
Pomar still managed to nab gold after partnering with national team stalwart Leonardo as they swept Kanna Baba and Mariya Sevilla, 21-17, 21-14.
The 2018 Smart National Open Badminton tournament is backed by SMART Communications, MVP Sports Foundation, BaliPure, SMASH Pilipinas, Victor PCome Industrial Sales, J.Co Donuts, Prima Pasta, and Forthright Events & Sports Management Inc.