Since they have tasted what it feels to be in the Finals seven years ago, the National University Bulldogs never let that feeling go.
And with a dominant sweep of the University of the East Red Warriors, 5-0, Thursday morning at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall, the Bulldogs just sealed it seventh consecutive Finals stint.
Team captain Alvin Morada opened the account for the Bustillos-based side with an escape past Benjamin Silva, 21-14, 21-16. The Red Warrior kept in step with the UAAP 77 Rookie of the Year, before the latter pulled away after the respective game intervals.
Keeyan Gabuelo then doubled the edge after giving AJ Manlalangit a rude farewell in the second doubles match. The Season 78 top rookie extended his unbeaten singles run, ending his opponent’s UAAP career on a losing note at 21-10, 21-10.
Clarence Camacho and Kenneth Cruz fought hard for the Recto-based side in the second set of the first doubles match, but Alem Palmares and, of course, Morada would not be denied of clinching the elims sweep. In the end, the Blue and Gold duo took the match at 21-8, 21-16.
The win sent the defending champions to yet another “last dance” stint.
Christian Cuyno and Mike Minuluan made it four-of-four with a two-set annihilation of Robert Barreto and Andre Donesa, 21-7, 21-4. Palmares also proved his worth in singles play, stopping AJ David at 21-6, 17-21, 21-13.
The Bulldogs will have a week’s worth of rest as they await their Finals opponents. On the other hand, the Red Warriors finished at 1-5.