Eagles oust Maroons to reach UAAP badminton finals

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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.

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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.

REALYN STEVENS

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