MANILA, Philippines – Defending men’s champion National University (NU) cruised to a 5-0 victory over University of the East (UE) to gain an outright spot to the championship round of the UAAP Season 80 badminton tournament on Thursday.
Singles players Alvin Morada, Keeyan Gabuelo and Alem Palmares and the doubles tandems’ of Christian Cuyno and Mike Minuluan and Morada and Palmares were in the zone as the Bulldogs went undefeated in six ties at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.
The Bulldogs have now won 33 consecutive ties since 2014, and will have the luxury of a week-long rest before figuring in a best-of-3 Finals series.
University of the Philippines secured the second seed – and the twice-to-beat bonus in the stepladder semifinals – with a 4-1 victory over De La Salle University.
The Fighting Maroons, who drew the best from aces JM Bernardo and CK Clemente and doubles specialists Betong Pineda and Paul Gonzales, finished second with a 5-1 slate.
University of Santo Tomas, meanwhile, scored an emphatic 5-0 win over Ateneo de Manila University in the last elimination round tie to secure the third semis berth.
The Growling Tigers actually tied the Green Archers and the Blue Eagles at 3-3, but the España-based shuttlers took the No. 3 ranking by virtue of a better quotient.
La Salle and Ateneo will dispute the remaining semis slot this weekend at the same Malate venue.
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