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PBAD: UP opens intercollegiate title defense with dramatic win over UST


University of the Philippines opened its title defense in dramatic fashion with a 4-1 win over University of Santo Tomas in Group A of the 2nd SMART Philippine Intercollegiate Badminton Championships on Thursday at the Centro Atletico Badminton Center in Quezon City.

The victory puts the Fighting Maroons one win away from securing a place in the semifinals in this tournament, which is backed by the Philippine Badminton Association and sponsored by A2Z Customs.

National team standout Jelo Albo kicked off the afternoon with a rousing win over Lennox Cuilao, 21-14, 21-11, in the men’s singles rubber. Fellow UAAP Season 85 top rookie Anthea Gonzalez followed suit with a 21-12, 21-18 victory in the women’s category over Philippine Badminton Open semifinalist Patricia De Leon.

“Yung feeling sa UAAP ay pareho pa rin. Mas marami lang ang kasali, pero kami pa rin ang nagtutulungan bilang isang koponan,” said Albo, who missed last year’s tournament due to the national team training camp.

UP’s Season 82 men’s captain, JM Bernardo, showed no signs of rust in his return. He and fellow super senior Michael Clemente secured the men’s doubles match with a 21-10, 21-17 victory over Janzen Panisales and Bien Villaflor, sealing the tie for the squad.

Susmita Ramos and Andrea Abalos defeated Marielle Alvarez and Jennifer Saladaga, 14-21, 21-16, 21-18, in the women’s doubles match. However, Raffi Santos and Kyle Basilio managed to secure a win for UST in the mixed doubles, with a score of 21-17, 19-21, 22-20, against Kimberly Lao and Jason Vanzuela.

The Golden Shuttlers had previously defeated Adamson University, resulting in a 1-1 win-loss record.

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In the other groups, the teams’ semifinal berths all come down to the scheduled team ties for Friday.

Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University both swept Mapua University, 5-0, setting up a battle for the Final Four berth in Group D.

Smash Pilipinas upstart Lance Vargas had a solid debut in Blue and White as he dominated Mark Mortera, 21-11, 21-12, in the men’s singles.

Group B features last year’s runner-up, San Beda University, and NCAA rival San Sebastian College-Recoletos competing for the semifinal spot.

Polytechnic University of the Philippines emerged from a 3-2 tussle over Lyceum of the Philippines to arrange a showdown with the College of Saint Benilde in Group C.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.


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