University of the Philippines stamped its class against rivals Ateneo de Manila University, 5-0, to open its inaugural Smart Philippine Intercollegiate Badminton Championships campaign on a rousing note, Saturday at the Centro Athletico Badminton Courts in Quezon City.
UP’s super seniors Michael Clemente and Paul Gonzales dominated Ateneo’s Jacinto Maliwat and Arthur Salvado in two games, 21-9, 21-15, in the men’s doubles match to clinch the win for the Fighting Maroons in Group A action.
Rookies Kervin Llanes and Anthea Gonzales earlier put UP up after taking both the men’s and women’s singles matches against Lynden Laborte and Chanelle Lunod, respectively.
Llanes was solid in his sweep of Laborte, 21-15, 21-13, in the men’s singles match, but it was Gonzales’ stunning upset of reigning two-time UAAP MVP Lunod that set the tone for the day for the Maroons. Gonzales pulled off with a 23-21, 21-19, win over Lunod, to put UP on the cusp of the win.
Lea Inlayo and Susmita Ramos then needed three games to subdue Jochelle Alvarez and Missy Cervantes, 19-21, 21-15, 21-13, in the women’s doubles match, before Jason Vanzuela and Althea Fuentespina also went the distance in the mixed doubles match against Bryan Bernardo and Maxene Olango, 21-15, 20-22, 21-15.
University of Santo Tomas also took its first win in Group A with a 4-1 victory over Adamson University.
Senior Elij Pena and rookie Jennifer Baladaga secured the win for the Golden Shuttlers with a 21-7, 21-11 crushing of Ivy Plata and Althea Bartolazob in the women’s doubles match.
Over in Group B, San Beda University set its title bid in motion with a sweep of Technological University of the Philippines, 5-0.
Arjhay Lazareto and Laurence Alejo limited TUP’s John Emmanuel Balgos and Eljohn Penalosa to single digits in the men’s doubles match, 21-7, 21-8, to take the Red Shuttlers’ first win.
Polytechnic University of the Philippines likewise ended as morning-session winners with a similar 5-0 sweep of Rizal Technological University.
The Mighty Maroons’ duo of John Oliver De Guzman and Kevin Abang closed the victory for their squad with a 21-9, 21-12 quick work of Bryant Pili and Sean Rejuso of the Blue Thunder.
The group phase ties resume in the afternoon.
The tournament is organized by the Philippine Badminton Association, powered by SMART Communications, and supported by the MVP Sports Foundation, Ducksports, Young, and Apacs.