Ateneo de Manila University ousted second seed University of the Philippines (UP), 3-2, in the step-ladder semifinals on Sunday to advance to the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s badminton finals at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall in Malate, Manila.
Emilio Mangubat Jr. drew the first blood for Ateneo at the expense of Lorenzo Miguel Leonardo, 21-9, 23-21. UP’s John Matthew Bernardo retaliated and finished off Nicole Clarence Filart in straight sets, 9-21, 16-21.
Mangubat and Hanz Christian Bernardo edged past Maroons Vincent Rafael Manuel and Joaquin Raphael Deato in the first doubles match, 21-18, 21-18.
Roberto Pineda and Ethan Joshua Malelang tied the matches at 2-all after sweeping Carlo Glenn Remo and Patrick Gecosala, 21-16, 21-18.
In the deciding match, Hanz Bernardo did not look back and trounced Wilson Joseph Lopez II, 21-15, 21-12.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles will battle defending champions National University (NU) Bulldogs at the same venue on Wednesday at 9 a.m.
The Blue Eagles forced a rubber match against the twice-to-beat Fighting Maroons after scoring a 3-1 victory in the first semis game on Saturday.
Mangubat completed a come-from-behind victory over Leonardo in the first singles match, 18-21, 21-10, 22-20. John Bernardo bounced back for UP to set a deadlock at 1-all after surviving a three-set thriller against Filart, 21-19, 13-21, 20-22.
The Mangubat-Hanz Bernardo tandem edged past UP’s Pineda and Manuel in straight sets, 21-19, 22-20. Remo and Gecosala notched the third victory for Ateneo after defeating Malelang and John Bernardo, 19-21, 21-15, 21-15.