Ateneo, National U open with victories in UAAP men’s badminton tiltBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo opened up its title retention drive with a 3-2 edge over La Salle even as last year’s runner up National University also showcased might with a 4-1 triumph over Far Eastern University Saturday in the 75th UAAP men’s badminton tournament at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.
University of Santo Tomas, meanwhile, blanked University of the East 5-0 while University of the Philippines came back from a 0-1 deficit to defeat Adamson, 3-2, in the other men’s ties.
Reigning Most Valuable Player Toby Gadi, along with Patrick Natividad pounded the duo of former top newcomer Gerald Sibayan and JC Clarito, 21-19, 21-9, in the second doubles after opening with a 2-0 lead.
Gadi defeated Clarito, 21-16, 21-5, in the first singles while Natividad double the lead for the Blue Eagles with a 21-14, 21-17 score over Lance Bautista in the second singles.
The Green Archers, though, were not one to give up and pulled within a point in the first doubles after Ronel Estanilao and Carlos Cayanan worked to a 21-7, 21-9 triumph over Rafael Alonzo and Miko Malilin.
John Kenneth Monterubio bested Justin Natividad, 21-10, 21-16, but the victory just didn’t matter after La Salle failed to even it out in the previous match.
The Bulldogs, on the other hand, had the tie in the bag after surging to a 3-0 lead which started off with a victory from NU ace Joper Escueta over Wilfredo Amoroso Jr. 21-11, 21-17, in the first singles.
NU, hoping to take it all the way this season, got two straight wins from Emmanuel Garcia in the second singles with a 21-18, 17-21, 21-18 win over Diosdado Abaugan and from the pair of Andrei Babad and Escueta, who conquered Christian Mendez and Sadrach Saquin, 21-12, 21-16.
Babad capped it for the Bulldogs with a 21-12, 21-16 win in the finals singles’ play.
The Tamaraws nonetheless barged into the win column after the duo Amoroso and Ian Bautista stunned Garcia and Aries De Los Santos, 21-16, 21-17.