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National University sweeps La Salle to move one step closer to the championship

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The National University (NU) Bulldogs swept the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers 3-0 in the first tie of of the UAAP Season 78 Men’s Badminton Championship finals series in the Rizal Memorial Badminton Center. NU has a thrice-to-beat advantage going into the series and are just one tie away from retaining their UAAP Men’s Badminton Championship.

Peter Magnaye (NU) kicked things off against DLSU’s Gerald Sibayan in the first singles match. The first game was a close contest with Magnaye and Sibayan repelling each others’ attacks. There were multiple draws in the first game with Sibayan forcing a deuce with a smash. Magnaye then upped his game during the crunch period, eventually winning 23-21 with a smash of his own.

Their second game was a different story compared to the first with Magnaye going all out to to beat Sibayan. Magnaye dominated the whole of the second game, starting from when the scores were tied at 4-4. Magnaye scored fourteen straight points to put a considerable distance between himself and Sibayan to lead 18-4 to ultimately win 21-8.

Rookie of the Year candidate Keeyann Gabuelo of NU competed against Kenneth Monterubio (DLSU) in the second singles match. Monterubio won a pulsating first game with a score of 21-19. Monterubio led 20-16 only for Gabuelo to score three straight points to cut the deficit at 19-20. Monterubio then recovered to get the single point needed to win the first game.

Following the first game, a much improved Gabuelo was seen in the second and third games. The second game was a straightforward win for Gabuelo after leading all the way from the start. Gabuelo had a 2-0 start which set the tempo in the second game, which led to a final score of 21-14. Monterubio performed better in the third game but a 16-12 lead for Gabuelo set the tone for the finish. Monterubio forced the issue at 19-20 to no avail as a service fault of his made Gabuelo win the third game 21-19.

Magnaye returned with Alvin Morada for NU while DLSU chose Sibayan and Anton Cayanan for thr first doubles match. The first game was a narrow win for the NU duo with both pairs repelling each other and equalizing each others’ scores. NU built an 18-15 lead which they extended to win the first game 21-18. Magnaye and Morada had an easier time in the second game, having led completely from their 2-0 start. Sibayan and Cayanan failed to impose themselves after the interval afterwhich their NU counterparts owning the game at a 19-13 scoreline. NU eventually won the second game 21-14.

NU coach Jojo Mance was all praises for his team after the tie with his only concern being the first singles match between Magnaye and Sibayan. Mance now looks forward to wrapping up the championship for NU this Saturday (October 17, 2015) in the Rizal Memorial Badminton Center, saying “Sana pareho pa rin, mabawasan lang yung tensyon talaga. Minus the pressure.”

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Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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