MANILA, Philippines -- Defending champion National University (NU) and University of the Philippines (UP) picked up convincing wins in a prelude to their showdown in the UAAP Season 82 men's badminton tournament, Sunday at PNP Sports Center.
The Bulldogs flexed their muscles with a 5-0 demolition of the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors for their 46th straight win.
Keeyan Gabuelo stopped the winning run of Angelo David in convincing fashion at 21-16, 21-14, to open the rout before prized rookie Solomon Cadiz Jr. took down Lance Pelobello at 21-13, 21-8.
The rookie duo of Julius Villabrille and James Villarante secured the win after another drubbing of Edward Adriano and Drix Reyes 21-11, 21-8.
Cadiz and Ryan Marfa, and Thirdy Bacalso swept David and Christian Garcia, and Rojan Gamil, to complete the shutout. The Bulldogs tandem took the second doubles at 21-11, 21-14, before Bacalso closed it out at 21-3, 21-10.
For their part, the Fighting Maroons dominated University of Santo Tomas (UST), 4-1, as team captain JM Bernardo shook off his first singles loss of the season by sweeping his assignments of the day.
The fourth-year stalwart took down UST rookie Jerome Belong, 21-15, 21-19, in the first singles match after succumbing to late errors in the second. Bernardo made it two-of-two as he and Harvey Tungul made it 4-0 for UP, dominating Henry and Eric Peralta at 21-14, 21-15.
Michael Clemente earlier put the Maroons at the cusp of winning after surviving the challenge of another Tiger newbie Sean Dela Cruz at 21-14, 13-21, 21-19 in the second singles match. Vinci Manuel and Jason Vanzuela then clinched the tie for UP over Russel Enriquez and Josh Defensor, 21-9, 21-18, in the first doubles match.
Lanz Ramirez averted a shutout as he took one for UST in a three-set decision over Jacob Tercias in the final singles match at 21-18, 15-21, 21-17.
After a heart-breaking loss to De La Salle University earlier, the Fighting Maroons needed to regroup.
"Isipin na lang namin 'yung mga next games namin. Binigay naman namin 'yung best namin so bawi na lang next games," Bernardo said.
When asked about their upcoming tie against National University that will take place on Wednesday, he said, "Bibigay lang namin yung best and laban lang hanggang huli."
Ateneo de Manila University completed the day with a similar sweep of Adamson University, 5-0, to clinch their second win of the season.
Arthur Salvado opened the day with a sweep of Elbren Concha at 21-14, 21-13, before former Rookie of the Year Keoni Asuncion dealt David Libanan a 21-14, 21-9 loss. Captain Fides Bagasbas and Jeno Carino secured the win for the Blue Eagles at 21-10, 21-17 over Kevin Fabros and Libanan.
Asuncion and Salvado ended perfectly on their day's outings after winning over Concha and Johnrick Macabenta, 19-21 21-17, 21-5, before rookie Bryan Bernardo completed the sweep with a 21-15, 22-20 conquest of Fabros.
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