Ateneo focused on topping UAAP men and women’s badminton titles

MANILA, (PNA) — The Ateneo Blue Eagles may no longer be a contender for the UAAP’s centerpiece event, but their men and women’s badminton teams have remained undefeated in the Season 76 action at the Jump Smash Badminton Courts in San Francisco del Monte in Quezon City over the weekend.

The Ateneo boys socked Far Eastern University (FEU), 4-1, for their sixth straight win, the same record posted by the Lady Eagles, who also scored a 4-1 decision over National University (NU).

Playing without former MVP Toby Gadi, the Blue Eagles gun for the Finals with a “thrice to beat” incentive against titleholder Bulldogs in the final day of eliminations on Wednesday.

NU won its first league badminton title last season against Ateneo, the titlist two years ago.

Justin Natividad and Patrick Natividad won their singles matches to offset the loss of rookie Clarence Filart in the opening singles. Patrick Natividad and Bryan Garrido and Justin Natividad and Theodore Co also emerged victorious in the doubles for Ateneo.

Meantime,the Bulldogs, powered by reigning MVP Joper Escueta and Aries delos Santos zapped University of the East, 4-1, to improve to a 5-1 record.

Rookies Bianca Carlos, Nicole Magno and Dia Magno won their singles matches for the Lady Eagles against the Lady Bulldogs, while last year’s top rookie Jana de Vera and Carlos, as well as the pair of Magno and Patricia Malibiran, swept their doubles assignments.

The Lady Tamaraws, meanwhile, scored a 3-2 win over the Lady Warriors for their fifth victory in six starts.

Ateneo will face FEU in a rematch of last year’s championship at the close of the eliminations on Wednesday.

The other men’s results showed University of Santo Tomas beating Adamson, 4-1, to join La Salle, which suffered a narrow 2-3 loss to University of the Philippines (UP), at third spot with a 4-2 record.

The Fighting Maroons remained in the semifinals race with 3-3.

In other women’s results, La Salle foiled UP’s semifinals bid with a 4-1 win to tie its victims at third spot with 4-2, while UST stayed alive in the Final Four race with a 3-2 win over Adamson University with a 3-3 record.