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NU silences S76 champions ADMU; sweeps elims

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With the defending champions Ateneo de Manila University down 2-1 in match wins, but with momentum on their side going into the 4th match, it was the highly-touted tandem of Joper Escueta and Peter Magnaye who silenced the once-vibrant Ateneo crowd in their doubles match against Nicole Filart and Patrick Gecosala. With the win, the National University shuttlers sweep the elimination round and earned themselves a thrice-to-beat advantage in the UAAP Season 77 Badminton Championship series.

 

Men’s Singles Match 1: Peter Gabriel Magnaye (NU) def. Patrick Wilfred Natividad (ADMU); 2:1

ADMU 0 – 1 NU

 

This was the match that every badminton fan has been waiting for. In a battle of two highly-ranked shuttlers, #3 ranked Peter Gabriel Magnaye faced-off against #4 ranked Patrick Wilfred Natividad in the opening match of this year’s Ateneo-National series. In the first set, the higher-ranked Magnaye would break-away with an early 11-7 lead prior to the 11th-point break. Magnaye would utilize a number of razor-sharp returns which Natividad would fail to return. That 4-point lead would balloon to a 15-8 lead before Magnaye would cap it by winning the 1st game 21-12. The 2nd game would see Magnaye again storm to another 11-7 lead. This time however, Magnaye would be flat-footed and too relaxed which resulted to careless returns and failed lobs. Patrick Natividad would take advantage of this to storm back and win the 2nd game 21-18. Coach Jojo would remind Magnaye to stay focused before the 3rd game started. Peter Maganaye would then blitz through the 3rd game with a masterful display of strength and strategy to win the game and the match in a blow-out, 21-7.

 

Aggregate Score: Magnaye 60 – Natividad 40

Total Match Time: 55 mins

 

Men’s Singles Match 2: Philip Joper Escueta (NU) def. Carlo Glenn Remo (ADMU); 2:0

ADMU 0 – 2 NU

 

In another match-up of ranked shuttlers, #7 ranked and UAAP Season 75 Men’s Badminton Most Valuable Player Joper Escueta defeated #18 ranked in the Men’s Open Division and #3 ranked in the U19 division Carlo Remo in straight sets to give the National University Shuttlers a 2 sets to love lead over the Blue Shuttlers. The first set would see the former MVP blitz to a 9-3 lead in the early part of the 1st game. Remo would not find an answer to the strong returns of Escueta enroute to a 21-11 victory for Escueta. The first half of the 2nd set would be a tight affair with both shuttlers going point-for-point with Escueta holding on to a solitary point advantage. The match would be tied at 11-all before Escueta would score a string of 7 straight points from excellent smashes and errand returns from Remo. Escueta would sweep the match with a score of 21-15 in the 2nd set.

 

Aggregate Score: Escueta 42 – Remo 26

Total Match Time: 30 mins

 

Men’s Doubles Match 1: Justin Wilbert Natividad and Patrick Wilfred Natividad (ADMU) def. Alvin Morada and Rosleenard Pedrosa (NU); 2-1

ADMU 1 – 2 NU

 

The Natividad brothers faced-off against the uber-athletic tandem of Morada and Pedrosa in a do-or-die match in the 1st doubles match in the series. The 1st game was a classic. The NU tandem would gain an early 10-5 advantage early on. Justin Natividad would lead the Natividad pair to give the Hail Mary pair a 7-point rally, including a lot of diving returns. With the Natividads up 18-16, Morada would score 3 straight points, all excellent smashes, to give them a solitary point advantage 19-18. The game would then be tied 20-all to extend the set into advantage points. The game would be tied another 4 times before Rosleenard Pedrosa would be able to seal the game for the NU squad, 26-24. The 2nd set saw tired legs for the NU tandem. Justin and Patrick Natividad, with their backs against the wall, would come-out like a house-on-fire. They would storm to a 7-1 lead and extend the lead to 17-6, including an amazing decoy play by the younger Natividad to set his brother up to an excellent smash. The pair from Katipunan would take the 2nd game with a score of 21-9. The deciding game would see Patrick Natividad lead the Ateneo tandem to an early 13-7 lead over Morada and Pedrosa. Pedrosa and Morada would then come crawling back into the game to cut the Ateneo lead to a single point 15-14. With the score at 17-18, Justin Natividad would return with a push-shot that was in to give them a 19-17 lead. Rosleenard Pedrosa, together with the small NU contingent, was in disbelief that the shot was good since they alleged that Justin’s racket would hit the net before it hit the shuttlecock. Pedrosa would argue with the umpire, Bernanos, before being served with a yellow card. Pedrosa and Morada would be on tilt and would not recover afterwards. The 21st point came from Justin Natividad smash that Pedrosa would fail to return. Frustrated, Pedrosa would slam his racket to the mat bending it beyond use. Justin and Patrick Natividad took the set 21-18 to give ADMU a match point. In a sign of good sportsmanship, Pedrosa would apologize to the umpire afterwards.

 

Aggregate Score: J. Natividad and P. Natividad 66 – Morada and Pedrosa 53

Total Match Time: 55 mins

 

Men’s Doubles Match 2: Philip Joper Escueta and Peter Gabriel Magnaye (NU) def. Nicole Clarence Filart and Patrick Gecosala (ADMU); 2:0

ADMU 1 – 3 NU (NU wins)

 

The Ateneo crowd, knowing that the momentum was on their side were loud in cheering “One Big Fight” to welcome Nicole Filart and Patrick Gecosala into the court. #1 ranked in the U19 division Nicole Filart was paired with Patrick Gecosala to take on the best doubles team this season. The tandem of Escueta and Magnaye have not lost even a single set in this tournament. The young team from Ateneo had no answer for the veterans. Joper Escueta and Peter Magnaye would dominate both sets in a masterful display of court-control, excellent offense and amazing reflex. They would win both sets in blow-outs 21-4 and 21-7 in just 20 minutes of total court action. The National University Shuttlers, with this match win, has swept the elimination round and go straight to the finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage.

 

Aggregate Score: Escueta and Magnaye 42 – Filart and Gecosala 11

Total Match Time: 20 mins

 

Men’s Singles Match 3: Justin Wilbert Natividad (ADMU) def. Rosleenard Pedrosa (NU); 2:0

ADMU 2 – 3 NU (NU wins)

 

Rosleenard Pedrosa was looking to avenge the loss they received from the doubles match against the Natividads in the final match of the series against Justin Natividad. Natividad not wanting to give-up a loss even if this was a no-bearing game, had none of it. The 1st set would be tied at 10-all before Justin Natividad would slowly get his momentum to win the set 21-18. The 2nd set would be another close set earlier on with the game being tied 8 times. The final tie would be at 14-all before Justin Natividad would score 7 of the games last 8 points to close the game at 21-15.

 

Aggregate Score: J. Natividad 42 – Pedrosa 33

Total Match Time: 45 mins.

 

Total Games Won: ADMU 5 – NU 7

 

The National University Shuttlers have now swept the elimination round and will go straight to the finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage. Meanwhile, the defending champions would face the UP Fighting Maroons on Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall in a playoff match-up.

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