In a display of on-court dominance and the huge improvement of their badminton program, the National University Bulldogs coasted through their series against the UST Golden Shuttlers winning 4 out of the 5 matches. The Bulldogs were led by Philippine Youth team member Ariel Magnaye and former UAAP MVP, both of who never lost a game in their singles and doubles matches against the Golden Shuttlers. With the win, National University is in first place by virtue of winning 13 matches and only dropping 2.
Men’s Singles Match 1: Ariel Magnaye (NU) def. John Paul Yabut (UST), 2:0
NU 1 – 0 UST
Ariel Magnaye routed John Paul Yabut in 2 straight games to give the Bulldogs a head start in their series against the Golden Shuttlers. Magnaye started-off slow in the first game, falling into a 4-2 early hole. This would just serve as a warm-up for the Youth Team member. With him leading by just a solitary point during the 11th point break, Magnaye would blast through Yabut with a showcase of excellent returns and drops to win the first game, 21 – 16. During the 2nd set, Magnaye would go on a blistering pace finishing the 2nd game in less than 12 minutes. The Magnaye lead would go to as high as 18 – 10 before the final tally of 21 – 14.
Aggregate Score: Magnaye 42 – Yabut 30
Total Match Time: 30 mins.
Men’s Singles Match 2: Roseleenard Pedrosa (NU) def. Paul John Pantig (UST), 2:1
NU 2 – 0 UST
Paul John Pantig delivered the best men’s singles performance for the Golden Shuttlers in the first game of the match. Pantig started-off hot scoring in 7 of the first 8 points of the match with a series of successful drops. Pedrosa could not capitalize with his serves during the set as his returns fell short all through-out the first game. Pantig would break-away with 6-point run with the score tallying 18 – 11. Pantig won the first game 21 – 16. The 2nd set would see a close game as the game would be tied 8 times and 6 lead changes. The final tie occurred at 18-all before the momentum finally swung in favor of Pedrosa. Pedrosa would score in three successful returns, including an empathic smash, to tie the games at 1 apiece. The final game for this match saw Pantig gain a 15-11 advantage midway through the game. Pedrosa, not willing to give-up the game to Pantig, would rally to score 10 straight points. During the rally, Pantig drop returns would fall short and could not return lobs coming from Pedrosa. Pedrosa won the 3rd game 21-15.
Aggregate Score: Pedrosa 58 – Pantig 55
Total Match Time: 55 mins.
Men’s Doubles Match 1: Ariel Magnaye and Joper Escueta (NU) def. John Edgard Reyes and Matt Gerald Tungul (UST), 2:0
NU 3 – 0 UST (NU wins)
In a bloodbath of a doubles match, Ariel Magnaye and his partner Joper Escueta blasted through the team of Reyes and Tungul. The NU tandem would even gain a 14 point advantage against the UST tandem, with the score at 15 – 1. The run is highlighted by a no-look smash by Ariel Magnaye that the Golden Shuttlers failed to return. The UST team of Reyes and Tungul would only register 3 points in the game enroute to a 21 – 3 win by Magnaye and Escueta. The second game would again start with failed returns, even from lobs, by the UST tandem. The score during the 11th point break was 11-4 in favor of the Bulldogs. Both teams would trade points for the rest of the game. Magnaye and Escueta would win the 2nd game 21 – 12.
Aggregate Score: Magnaye (26) and Escueta (16) 42 – Reyes (8) and Tungul (7) 15
Total Match Time: 20 mins.
Men’s Doubles Match 2: Paul John Pantig and Patrique Magnaye (UST) def. Alvin Morada and Paolo Gonzales (NU), 2:1
NU 3 – 1 UST (NU wins)
Alvin Morada and Paolo Gonzales, determined to sweep all the matches for the Bulldogs’ side, would win the first set of the match in a close game that would see both tandems gain no momentum swings. Morada and Gonzales would escape the first game with a 21 – 17 win over the second tandem from Espana. The Bulldog tandem would continue the ride of momentum they got to start the 2nd set with a 10 to 7 lead. The Golden Shuttlers, however, would make a 4 point rally to gain the advantage prior to the 11th point break. With the game tight, Pantig and Magnaye would score on 7 of the game’s last 9 points with a series of successful returns and a couple of drops. Pantig and Magnaye take the second game 21-16 to force a 3rd and deciding game. The deciding set would see the momentum fully swing towards the UST side as Morada and Paolo Gonzales had no answer for every smash and drops the Golden Shuttlers threw at them. The tandem of Pantig and Magnaye win the deciding set 21-13 to win the match.
Aggregate Score: Morada (26) and Gonzales (24) 50 – Pantig (33) and Magnaye (26) 59
Total Match Time: 30 mins.
Men’s Singles Match 3: Joper Escueta (NU) def. Alaced Sabanal (UST), 2:0
NU 4 – 1 UST (NU wins)
Former MVP Joper Escueta did not let his team lose another match, especially knowing that the Green Shuttlers are only a match behind them in the standings. Joper Escueta would blast through Alaced Sabanal in the first set, it was visible that Escueta was on a whole other level. He would ooh the crowd with a stumbling return and recovery at one point of the game. The game would be out-of-hand for Sabanal with the lead reaching as high as 18-9. Escueta would win the game 21-14. The second game was no different as Escueta outclassed Sabanal in every point of the match. Sabanal would only score on Escueta’s errors from the service and beyond-the-line returns. Escueta took the game and the match 21-13.
Aggregate Score: Escueta 42 – Sabanal 27
Total Match Time: 40 mins.
Aggregate Games Won: NU 9 – 3 UST