Well-rested NU smashes UP, nears 4-peat in UAAP men’s badminton crown

National University showed no rust from a long break in subduing University of the Philippines, 3-1 to move on the cusp of winning a fourth straight men’s crown in the UAAP Season 80 badminton tournament on Saturday.     

The Bulldogs have won 34 consecutive ties dating back to 2014 and are looking good to tie the Fighting Maroons for the most number of championships with five.

Tie no. 2 is set at 8 a.m. Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.

JM Bernardo downed Mike Minuluan 21-16, 21-16, in the opening singles to put UP ahead, before NU leveled the tie at 1-1 as Alvin Morada slipped past Vinci Manuel, 21-12, 21-16, in the second singles.

The Bulldogs grabbed the upperhand, but not without a scare, as Morada and Alem Palmares nipped CK Clemente and JM Bernardo, 16-21, 21-16, 21-12, in the first doubles.

Christian Cuyno and Mike Minuluan prevailed over Betong Pineda and Paul Gonzales, 21-15, 21-19, in the second doubles to clinch the tie for NU.

The Bulldogs are coming off a week-long break after sweeping all of their six elimination round ties.

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