National U seizes six-peat in UAAP 82 badminton
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 05, 2019 05:02 PM
(Photo courtesy of UAAP)
National University leaned on the duo of rookie Solomon Padiz Jr. and graduating senior Keeyan Gabuelo to snare their sixth consecutive UAAP Men's Badminton title, 3-1, over Ateneo, Saturday at the PNP Sports Center Badminton Courts.
After failing to finish the match in the second game despite three match points, the Bulldogs pair closed out the series with a huge 21-14 win the final game over Keoni Asuncion and Arthur Salvado.
"Lagi silang nakaka-encounter nung ganun situation. Kung kelan malapit na, doon sila nape-pressure," NU head coach Jaime Llanes told his wards after their second set loss.
Gabuelo and Padiz opened the second doubles match with a 21-17 win before Asuncion and Salvado snagged the second ultimately at 23-21.
With their spectacular campaign, Gabuelo was named the Most Valuable Player while Padiz took the Rookie of the Year honors.
Llanes was pleased with how their campaign went as the Bulldogs were tested this season.
"Happy ako sa mga boys ko kasi ginawa nilang mag-step up kahit sobrang dikit ng game," he expressed.
The win is the Bulldogs' 51st straight since UAAP Season 77. Moreover, NU tied Ateneo for most championships in the league's men's badminton tournament with six crowns.
Padiz earlier leveled the tie after stunning Asuncion in just two games, 21-9, 21-14, in the second singles match, before fellow freshmen James Villarante and Julius Villabrille sent NU to the brink of the championship with a 21-18, 23-21 decision over Geno Cariño and Fides Bagasbas.
Ateneo captain Bagasbas opened the day with an upset of opposing skipper Gabuelo, 21-19, 11-21, 21-18, in the first singles rubber.