MANILA, Philippines - Ateneo and National University primed up their much anticipated showdown this weekend by posting impressive victories in the UAAP Season 75 badminton tournament yesterday.
The Blue Eagles drubbed the Adamson Falcons, 4-1, while the Bulldogs posted a 5-0 shutout win over the University of Santo Tomas Tigers for their sixth straight victories.
In a rematch of last year’s finals, Ateneo and NU clash on Sunday at 9 a.m. at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall with the winner gaining an automatic championship berth and a “thrice-to-beat” incentive.
Reigning MVP Toby Gadi toyed around Kint Juris Bacong, 21-3, 21-5, in the second singles right after Patrick Natividad’s victory over Jordan Alcantara, 21-19, 21-14 in the first singles match.
The team-up of Patrick Natividad and Justin Natividad conquered Arnold Bill So and Edwin John Viloria, 21-9, 21-9, in the first doubles to seal the tie for the Eagles.
Andre Babad set the tempo for the Bulldogs as he defeated Kit Benjude Cajefe, 21-17, 21-19, in the first singles while Jayson Oba-ob bucked a first set loss to subdue Rjay Ormilla in the second singles, 8-21, 21-16, 21-5.
The duo of Babad and Escueta then outlasted Kapunan and Ormilla in the first doubles, 21-16, 21-7, to clinch the tie for NU.
Aries Delos Santos and Oba-ob waylaid Cajefe and Paul John Pantig, 21-14, 21-11, in the second doubles play, while Escueta blasted Kapunan, 21-11, 21-19, in the third singles to complete the Bulldogs’ triumph.
La Salle, meanwhile, moved closer in clinching the third semifinals berth with a 4-1 decision over University of the Philippines.
The Green Archers notched their third straight victory to move up to third place with a 4-2 record.
La Salle will face Far Eastern University, a 4-1 winner over University of the East, in the last day of eliminations on Sunday.
The Tamaraws booked their third win in six outings to tie the Growling Tigers in fourth and fifth places.