National University (NU) Bulldogs trounced last season’s runner up De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers, 4-1, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s badminton tournament at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall in Malate, Manila on Wednesday.
Ross Lee Pedrosa swept Anton Cayanan in the first singles match, 21-16, 21-13, while Keeyan Gabuelo dispatched Kenneth Monterubio in straight sets, 21-15, 21-18.
“They performed well in their games especially in the first two singles. They really played all-out but in the doubles earlier, it took them some time to get their momentum and that’s why they reached the third set,” said NU head coach Jaime Llanes.
In the first doubles match, La Salle’s duo of Cayanan and Jerickson Obaob snatched the first set from Pedrosa and Alvin Morada, 15-21, but the Bulldogs then retaliated, taking away the next two sets, 21-16, 21-15.
NU’s Alem Palmares and Mike Minuluan also experienced the same fate that Pedrosa and Morada had, handing the first set to brothers Kenneth and Joshua Monterubio, 19-21. Palmares and Minuluan bounced back and clinched the fourth victory in the tie, 21-15, 21-13.
“Actually, we’re adjusting in the team since we missed the service of Gerald Sibayan. We’re still thinking of the player whom we can partner with Anton (Cayanan). But as the UAAP games unfold, we have been adjusting,” said La Salle head coach Owen Lopez. “I want them to be more consistent because their emotions are taking over when they’re committing errors.”
Green Archer Andrew Pineda bowed down to Morada in the first set of the last match, 21-14, but pulled off a come-from-behind win, giving the lone victory to La Salle, 18-21, 17-21.
“It was Alvin Morada who lost in the third singles. I think he’s really playful since he knew that there’s no bearing on his match so he just played until he lost his match,” Llanes added.
In the other games, the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles swept the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors, 5-0. The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons and Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws notched a 4-1 victory over the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers and the Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons, respectively.
NU and UP kept their win-loss card unblemished at 3-0, followed by Ateneo with 2-1. La Salle, UST, FEU, and UE were tied at 1-2, while Adamson remained winless at 0-3.
“I just have to do little adjustments in the fielding of players in the singles matches. I have to list players more carefully because we would be facing tougher opponents in our upcoming games,” said Llanes.
In the women’s division, the UP Lady Maroons, Ateneo Lady Eagles, and La Salle Lady Archers swept the UST Tigresses, UE Lady Warriors, and NU Lady Bulldogs, 5-0, respectively. The FEU Lady Tamaraws cruised past the Adamson Lady Falcons, 4-1.
The Lady Maroons owned the bright spot with 3-0 card, followed by Ateneo, La Salle, and NU with 2-1, FEU, UST, and Adamson with 1-2, and UE with 0-3.
NU and La Salle will battle Ateneo and UST, respectively, while UP and FEU will face Adamson and UE both in men’s and women’s divisions on Saturday at the same venue.