De La Salle University stopped its losing streak against University of the Philippines after a familiar face in Christian Bernardo steered the undefeated Green Shuttlers to the 3-2 decider, Saturday at the PNP Sports Center in Quezon City.
With the win, La Salle takes their bye with an immaculate record at 3-0, while giving the Fighting Maroons their first loss of the season.
Bernardo, who also lifted the Ateneo Blue Eagles to the UAAP Season 79 semifinals at the expense of UP, denied the late run from Maroons rookie Kim Ga-an, taking a 21-14, 21-19 victory in the deciding singles match.
La Salle captain Jan Mangubat started it off with a win with counterpart JM Bernardo in two sets 25-23, 25-15 before Andrew Pineda stifled the returning Jacob Tercias also in a similar 23-21, 21-8, to put La Salle to a 2-0.
The Fighting Maroons mounted a comeback and clinched the two doubles matches to level the tie.
Together with Harvey Tungul, JM Bernardo made amends of his singles loss earlier against Mangubat and completed a come-from-behind win in the first doubles over the latter and Christian Bernardo, 22-24, 21-17, 22-20. Graduating senior Vinci Manuel and Michael Clemente then swept Pineda and Joshua Morada, 21-11, 21-17, to force the deciding singles match.
“Una, nagpapasalamat ako sa mga coaches ko sa tiwala nila na nilagay nila ko sa third singles. So, ginawa ko yung kaya na mailabas yung tinerain namin,” said Bernardo.
When Ga-an was making a run, Bernardo just turned to experience to end the match right there and then. “Nandito na rin lang ako, bakit pa ko magpapahabol kung kaya ko na rin lang naman tapusin,” he shared.
Keeping in step with the Green Shuttlers, defending champion National University made short work of Adamson University, 5-0, while University of Santo Tomas bagged their second win in a row with a 4-1 rout of University of the East.
Solomon Padiz bagged the opening singles match for the Bulldogs over Elbren Concha at 21-17, 21-14. Keeyan Gabuelo then doubled the advantage over Aldous Mercado at 21-11, 21-13.
Rookies July Villabrille and James Villarante took down Johnrick Macabenta and Concha in just two games 21-17, 21-11, then clinched the tie win with a victory in the first doubles match.
NU likewise swept the last two matches with Gabuelo and Padiz taking care of over Kevin Fabros and Karl Libed at 21-11, 21-8, and Thirdy Bacalso upending Fabros at 21-11, 21-11.
The Tiger Shuttlers rose to 2-1 after taking getting wins from Lanz Ramirez, Russel Enriquez and Josh Defensor, Eric and Henry Peralta, and Sean Dela Cruz.
Ramirez took the victory over Christian Garcia at 21-10, 21-17, while Enriquez and Defensor outclassed Chez Zarsuelo and Khristian Reyes at 21-10, 21-14, in the first singles and doubles matches. The Peralta twins then bagged UST’s second win after a 21-15, 21-16 conquest of Angelo David and Jireh Ortega in the second doubles match.
Dela Cruz plucked his second straight win of his rookie year at the expense of Edwards Adriano, taking a convincing 21-8, 21-8 win. David averted a shut out for UE, winning 21-15, 21-15, against Jan Barlinan.