Bulldogs, Lady Maroons claim outright Finals berths
Defending men's champion National University stepped into the Finals outright while women's titlist University of the Philippines gained an automatic championship berth in the 80th UAAP badminton tournament.
Men’s title-holder National University cruised to a 5-0 victory over University of the East to gain an outright passage to the championship round in the UAAP Season 80 badminton tournament Thursday.
Singles players Alvin Morada, Keeyan Gabuelo and Alem Palmares and the doubles tandems' of Christian Cuyno and Mike Minuluan and Morada and Palmares were in the zone as the Bulldogs went undefeated in six ties at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.
Winners of 33 consecutive ties dating back from 2014, NU will have a luxury of a weeklong rest before going into the best-of-three championship series.
Women's titleholder University of the Philippines, meanwhile, turned back Adamson University, 4-1, to jump straight to the Finals.
The Lady Maroons also completed a six-tie sweep of the elimination round.
UP nailed the twice-to-beat bonus in the men's stepladder semis after a 4-1 conquest of De La Salle.
The Fighting Maroons, who drew the best from aces JM Bernardo and CK Clemente and doubles specialists Betong Pineda and Paul Gonzales, finished second with a 5-1 slate.
University of Santo Tomas, meanwhile, scored an emphatic 5-0 win over Ateneo in the last elimination round tie to secure the third semis berth.
The Growling Tigers actually tied the Green Archers and the Blue Eagles at 3-3, but the España-based shuttlers took the No. 3 ranking by virtue of a better quotient.
De La Salle and Ateneo will dispute the remaining semis slot at 8 a.m. Saturday the same Malate venue.
The Lady Archers clinched the twice-to-beat semis incentive bonus following a 4-1 conquest of the Lady Bulldogs, while the Lady Eagles blanked the Tigresses, 5-0.
Ateneo and NU will face off in the first stepladder on Sunday.