National University sent a strong statement with a convincing sweep of University of Santo Tomas, 5-0, to take its second straight win in the UAAP Men’s Badminton Tournament, Sunday morning at the Centro Atletico Badminton Center in Quezon City.
Setting the tone for the seven-peat-seeking Bulldogs is first-year shuttler Lanz Zafra, who once more dominated the first singles match, 21-13, 21-9, against the Golden Shuttlers’ Lanz Ramirez, in 29 minutes of action.
Fellow rookie Mark Anthony Velasco made it 2-0 off a 21-15, 21-10 sweep of Lennox Cuilao, in the second singles, before national team standouts Solomon Padiz Jr. and Julius Villabrille secure the win against Jacob Galve and JJ Panisales, 21-12, 21-14, in the first doubles.
“Sobrang happy po kami, kasi yesterday po naka-isa yung Adamson sa ‘min. Pero ngayon, mentally prepared po kami,” Zafra said of the sweep, which was the Bulldogs’ 53rd straight win.
University of the Philippines, on the other hand, took care of Adamson University, 4-1, to also notch its second win.
Jelo Albo and Jason Vanzuela kept their unblemished records this season as they secure the victory again in the first doubles match at 21-14, 21-9, against Harold Bonilla and CL Garcia.
Ateneo de Manila University joined the Bulldogs and the Fighting Maroons on top after a 4-1 rout of archrival De La Salle University. Captain Arthur Salvado steered his squad to the win after a sweep of his assignments of the day.
The second-year Blue Eagle defeated James Estrada, 21-17, 21-7, in the first singles match, and then teamed up with Lynden Laborte for the first doubles match in a 21-10, 21-15 close-out win over Pete Abellana and Bless Linaban.
The Bulldogs and the Fighting Maroons will try to remain on top when they face each other on Saturday at 8 a.m.
Heading into that crucial battle against the fellow undefeated UP on Saturday, Zafra shared, “We’ll prepare po kahit holiday in the coming days. Workout pa rin po kahit nasa bahay. Siyempre, prepare pa rin po para sa UP.”
Other matches pit Ateneo and Adamson and La Salle versus UST.