MANILA, Philippines—National University inched closer to claiming its first league championship in 25 years after the Bulldogs nailed the first Finals berth in the UAAP men’s badminton tournament Saturday at the Rizal Badminton Hall.
The Bulldogs downed Far Eastern University, 3-1, behind the strong plays of national team standout Philip Jofer Escueta, Andrei Babad and Sonny Boy Montilla.
“We’re happy because I think nobody expected that we’ll reach the Finals,” NU coach Jojo Mance said in Filipino.
The Bulldogs are vying for their first crown in any sport since winning the chess championship in the 1986 season.
Ateneo and La Salle will dispute the last Finals slot in a winner-take-all today after the fourth-ranked Blue Eagles forged a 3-1 upset over the top-seeded Archers.
In beach volleyball, Ateneo and University of Santo Tomas secured the first two semifinal slots after forging separate wins in women’s action yesterday at the UE Caloocan sand courts.
The tandem of Alyssa Valdez and Bea Tan overpowered FEU’s Shedd dela Peña and Loryvel Faytaren, 21-17, 21-13, for a league-best 5-1 record. The Tigresses’ duo of Maru Banaticla and Judy Caballejo downed University of the Philippines’ Aia del Mundo and Pau Genido.