Defending champions National University Bulldogs cruised past their second assignment this season, routing the University of Santo Tomas Golden Shuttlers, 4-1, Sunday morning at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.
UAAP Season 78 Rookie of the Year Keeyan Gabuelo opened the day with a sweep of Mark Sotea in the first singles match. The third-year standout protected his immaculate singles record with a dominant finish of the senior Golden Shuttler with 21-15, 21-14.
First-time player Christian Cuyno the doubled the advantage for the reigning champs, taking care of John Paul Yabut also in two games. The newbie Bulldog cruised through in the first at 21-11, but needed to fend off the Thomasian in the second set at 21-18.
Sotea and Joed Reyes, nonetheless, took one back for the España-based squad after edging out Mike Minuluan and Alem Palmares in the second doubles match. The NU duo tried to close out the tie, but the veterans in the UST pair showed off in the end, taking the match in a close 21-19, 22-20 score line.
Nonetheless, there was no denying the suttlers from Bustillos from remaining unscathed.
Cuyno and team captain Alvin Morada needed to survive Kristian Barrios and Juan Miguel Santiago to eventually close the tie in the second doubles match. NU pulled off the crucial points in the end of both sets to win it at 21-19, 21-16.
For skipper Morada, there is just one primary motivation this season.
“Yung nagwowork sa ‘min is ‘yung pagiging champion talaga,” he admitted. “Siyempre, gusto namin makuha yung four-peat kaya, ayun, gumaganda yung laro.”
Minuluan then completed the win, sweeping Reyes at 21-14, 21-12.
The Bulldogs (2-0) will go for a landmark 30th consecutive win on Friday, September 29 at 8am, when they face the winless Adamson University Soaring Falcons (0-3).
On the other hand, the Golden Shuttlers (1-2) will try to spoil the run of the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons (1-1) also on that day and time.