UAAP badminton: ‘7-peat’ seeking NU off to winning start

National U had a triumphant start to its 7-peat bid in UAAP men’s badminton. UAAP Media.

MANILA, Philippines — National University opened its bid for a seventh straight UAAP men’s badminton title on a winning note, Saturday at the Centro Atletico Badminton Center in Quezon City.

The Bulldogs clobbered Adamson University, 4-1, to open their campaign in Season 85. This is their 52nd straight won tie since Season 77, when they won a second UAAP championship.

NU clinched the tie as early as the first doubles match with a pair of national team standouts Solomon Padiz Jr. and Julius Villabrille. Padiz Jr. And Villabrille just needed 19 minutes to subdue Adamson’s John Pedrosa and Mark Racelis, 21-6, 21-7.

Lanz Zafra opened the day for the Bulldogs with a thorough 21-11, 21-7 conquest of Christian Lloyd Garcia in the first singles match, before Mark Anthony Velasco put NU on the cusp of taking the win, 21-7, 21-6 over Nathaniel Acedillo in the second singles.

“Kami po’y natutuwa kasi nag-continue na yung UAAP dahil three years din nag-stop yung UAAP,” UAAP Season 82 Rookie of the Year and NU captain Padiz Jr. said.

“Kami po, OK naman po (yung performance) kasi ang ano pa namin ay i-all out po yung mga game namin. Kasi nga Day 1 nga po, kailangan pong magamay po namin yung court, yung bola, lahat po, kasi yung three years po, kailangan din po naming mag-adjust.”

In the other courts, Season 82 runner-up Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines took care of their respective opponents.

Arthur Salvado and Lynden Laborte steered the Blue Eagles to the win over University of Santo Tomas, 4-1, as they took care of their two assignments in the day including the second doubles match that sealed the tie in their favour.

Salvado defeated Kyle Basilio in the first singles match, 21-13, 21-16, then Laborte did his part of the bargain in the second singles rubber, 21-8, 21-9, over Francis Sarmiento. The two then joined forces in the first doubles match for a 21-16, 21-15 decision against Jacob Galve and Janzen Panisales, 21-16, 21-15.

National team standout Jelo Albo proved his pedigree after sweeping his matches in his UAAP debut to push UP to a 4-1 win over De La Salle University. The Fighting Maroon rookie waylaid James Estrada, 21-10, 21-15, before teaming up with fellow national team member Jason Vanzuela with a 21-14, 21-16 victory over Joshua Morada and Eljee Gavile.

The women’s opening ties scheduled in the afternoon were moved to a later date due to the hoisting of signal No. 3 due to Typhoon Paeng in Metro Manila.

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