UAAP Season 81 runners-up University of the Philippines set the tone of their title bid as they dominated University of the East in its Season 82 opener, 5-0, Wednesday morning at the Centro Atletico Badminton Center in Quezon City.
Captain JM Bernardo sparked the rout with a two-setter over Edward Adriano in 21-11, 21-6. Tookie Kim Ga-an then scored a come-from-behind win against Angelo David in the decider, 19-21, 21-16, 21-15.
The Fighting Maroons clinched the tie after the duo of Michael Clemente and Vinci Manuel subdued Christian Garcia and Khristian Reyes, 21-13, 21-10, in the first doubles match.
Young guns Jason Vanzuela and Harvey Tungul, and Season 81 Rookie of the Year Kyle Legazpi, took the last two matches to complete the sweep for UP.
“Nag-set kami ng goal this season na gustong bumawi lahat. Gusto naming makuha yung championship,” said Bernardo.
“Natutuwa ako sa performance ng team. Nagawa namin yung pinaghandaan namin. Yung tinraining namin, lumabas kanina,” he continued.
The De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University joined UP as opening day victors after carving out 5-0 sweeps of the Adamson University and University of Santo Tomas, respectively.
Now at La Salle, former Blue Eagles Jan Mangubat and Hanz Bernardo were triumphant in their UAAP comebacks. They took a tie-clinching win in the doubles over Kevin Fabros and David Libanan, 21-17, 21-18.
Meanwhile, Mangubat fended off Elbren Concha in the first singles match at 15-21, 21-15, 21-10. Andrew Pineda put La Salle at 2-0 after the sweep of Fabros in the following singles match at 21-13, 21-16.
On the hand, Ateneo leaned on the twin victories of senior Keoni Asuncion and the splendid debut of rookie Bryan Bernardo to barge into the win column.
Asuncion opened the day with tough win over Llanz Ramirez at 21-13, 19-21, 21-16, in the second singles match. He then teamed up with Jacinto Maliwat to take down Russel Enriquez and John Olin Defensor in the second doubles match also in three games.
Bryan Bernardo then swept Sean Dela Cruz, 21-15, 21-18, to end the opening day of the seven-team meet.