Defending champions NU hands Ateneo their first loss in UAAP Season 85 Men’s Badminton | Jobi Cool


The ATENEO men’s badminton team suffered its first loss in the 85th season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s badminton tournament after being swept by the National University (NU) Bulldogs.

Earlier today, the Blue Eagles lost 0-5 to the defending champions at the Centro Atletico Badminton Hall in Quezon City.

Ateneo’s Cody Torres started the day in the first men’s singles match against NU’s Lanz Zafra. The Bulldogs jumped out to early leads in both the first and second sets and never looked back, winning in straight sets, 21-4 and 21-7.

In the second men’s singles match, Justin Vanzuela defeated NU’s Mark Velasco. Despite attempting a comeback in the first set, the Blue Eagles eventually surrendered, 9-21. In the second set, Vanzuela’s many back-end errors allowed her Sampaloc counterpart to cruise to a 21-4 victory.

Torres returned and partnered Jacinto Maliwat to face NU’s Julius Villabrille and Solomon Padiz in the first men’s doubles match. The Bulldogs controlled the first set en route to a 21-9 victory. The Katipunan duo struggled to repel NU’s aggressive attacks in the second set, bowing out 9-21 and handing Ateneo its first loss of the season.

In the second men’s doubles match, Vanzuela returned to pair with newcomer Charles Bagasbas to take on AU’s Mark Velasco and Lantz Zafra. Despite a strong start for the Blue and White, the Bulldogs pulled away late to take the first set 21-14 as the two sides traded powerful blows throughout. Facing a 7-11 deficit, Vanzuela and Bagasbas attacked to cut the lead to 15-17, but four consecutive errors plagued the Ateneo pair, surrendering the second set, 17-21.

Rookie Miguel Busuego was up next against the Blue and White in the third men’s singles match with NU’s Solomon Padiz. Despite a late rally by the Blue Eagles, the Paddys pulled away to take the first set, 21-11. Multiple errors on Busuego’s end would allow the Bulldogs to take the first set 21-13, securing the sweep for NU.

In light of the loss, team captain Arthur Salvado Jr. says the team is looking forward to meeting the Bulldogs again in the Finals, stressing that the team has a lot to give in the championship. “They are strong, but we can also say that Ateneo is strong. The most important thing is that we bring out the best in each other,” Salvado shared.

The Blue Eagles will look to bounce back against the NU Bulldogs in the Finals tomorrow, November 13, as the Blue and White seek their first men’s badminton title since season 76.

Team-Draw Score: Ateneo-NU: 0-5

First men’s singles match. Zafra def. Torres: 4:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m

Second men’s singles match. Velasco def. Venezuela: 9-21, 4-21

Men’s first doubles match. Villabrille and Padiz defender. Torres and Malivat: 9-21, 9-21

Second men’s doubles. Velasco and Zafra def. Vanzuela and Bagasbas: 14-21, 17-21

Third men’s singles match. Padiz def. Busuego: 11-21, 13-21





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