Bianca Carlos, star player of the Ateneo De Manila University women’s badminton team, will not be denied.
Carlos virtually toyed with defending champion Sarah Joy Barredo, 21-13, 21-11, to win the women’s singles title as well as the P100,000 top prize at the Bingo Bonanza National Badminton Open last month at SM Megamall.
She said winning the cash prize wasn’t as important as being rewarded for all her sacrifice and hard work.
“I think winning the Bingo Bonanza is not about the money but the blood, sweat and tears. All the hard work you did from training paid off. You sacrifice your free time to go out and relax and instead train more. I think the real beauty of victory is from the pain of not giving up in anything,” said Carlos.
What was expected to be tightly contested title match turned into a lopsided rout as Carlos manhandled Barredo to follow up an equally one-sided, 21-15, 21-10, demolition of Malvinne Ann Alcala in the semifinals.
The victory more than made up for the disappointing finish by the Ateneo’s ladies badminton team in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines competition a few weeks ago.
Leading their best-of-three championship playoff 1-0 Ateneo lost two successive matches to yield the series to the University of the Philippines Lady Fighting Maroons.
In the second match of that title showdown Ateneo led 2-1and needed to win just one more game to annex the title. UP won back-to-back games to win that match and extend the series where Ateneo eventually placed runner-up to their fellow Katipunan-based school for the second consecutive year.
Carlos won her singles and doubles matches in the UAAP tourney but UP relied on a deeper bench to prevail in the team competition.
After a disappointing turn at the UAAP nothing could stop a motivated Carlos in the Bingo Bonanza tournament.
“Competing in this tournament is a different experience compared to the UAAP. Even if we weren’t able to grab the gold, I believe our team gave the best fight against UP. I won in the Bingo Bonanza carrying not only my name but the whole team. So I did it for my team and coaches. I still have one more playing year in the UAAP. Hopefully we can get the championship next year,” said Carlos who admitted her desire to get back at the UP Lady Fighting Maroons.
Ateneo men’s varsity badminton player Clarence Filart almost made it a double celebration for their school but fell short as he bowed to Ros Pedrosa who tallied an emphatic 21-11, 21-14 victory to claim the men’s singles crown as well as the P100,000 prize in the annual tournament sponsored by Bingo Bonanza.
The Ateneo men’s badminton team, led by Filart, likewise came tantalizingly close to a UAAP title but eventually placed second to champion National University.
In the Bingo Bonanza championship match Carlos controlled the match early and relied on her aggressive attacking style to keep Barredo on the defensive.
The former National Open champion alternated powerful smashes with deceptive drop shots to force Barredo to commit one error after another. Carlos posted a decisive victory in just 35 minutes.
Earlier, Carlos gained a measure of revenge after she smashed UP’s Alcala in the semifinals.
Carlos is a former National Open champion and many-time 19-under champion. She set the tone early with her power game and commanding court coverage to foil Alcala, 21-15, 21-10, and move into the gold medal match against the top-seeded Barredo.
Before that Carlos faced all she could handle as she squared off against teammate Mikaela Joy De Guzman in the eliminations.
“The most difficult match I had was with my teammate Mikaela De Guzman. She is also part of the team where I train. So with all the pressure of being her senior teammate I had a hard time adjusting,” said Carlos.
Barredo on the other hand mauled fellow PBA Smash Pilipinas mainstay Angelique Ramos in the semifinals to set up the showdown for the Open women’s singles crown eventually won by Carlos.
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