MANILA, Philippines – University of the Philippines nipped Katipunan rival Ateneo, 3-2, to clinch a Final 4 spot in the UAAP Season 80 badminton tournament on Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.
The pairs of CK Clemente and JM Bernardo, and Betong Pineda and Paul Gonzales completed a sweep of doubles, while Bernardo provided the lone singles victory for the Fighting Maroons to improve at 4-1.
The Fighting Maroons joined defending champion National University, a 4-1 winner over De La Salle University, in the Final 4.
The Bulldogs, for their part, stretched their perfect run to five and moved within a win of securing an outright championship berth.
NU shoots for the slot in the best-of-three Finals against also-ran University of the East in the final day of eliminations at 8 a.m. on Thursday at the same Malate venue.
The Blue Eagles and the Green Archers dropped to 3-2 card in joint third.
University of Santo Tomas, meanwhile, keep its semifinals hopes alive with a 5-0 shutout win over Adamson University for a 2-3 card, stalling Ateneo and La Salle's march to the semis.
In the women's division Saturday, titleholder UP overcame Ateneo, 3-2, to secure the first Final Four berth with a 4-0 record.
La Salle overpowered UE, 5-0, while NU beat Adamson University, 4-1, to force a three-way tie with Ateneo in second spot at 3-1.