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Bulldogs sweep qualifying round

Defending champion National University completed a clean sweep of the qualifying round after dominating Ateneo de Manila University, 5-0, in their Finals preview of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 men’s badminton tournament yesterday at the Centro Atletico Badminton Center in Cubao, Quezon City.

The seven-peat-seeking Bulldogs fielded their main lineup against a Blue Eagles squad sitting out its top guns Arthur Salvado, Lyrden Laborte, and Bryan Bernardo for a quick work of their rivals.

NU won its fifth straight and 55th tie victory in a row.

National team stalwarts Solomon Padiz Jr. and Julius Villabrile secured the Bulldogs’ win with a rout of Cody Torres and Jacinto Maliwat, 21-9, 21-9, in the first doubles match.

Rookies Lanz Zafra and Mark Anthony Velasco took care of the first two singles matches for the Bulldogs.

Zafra dominated Torres, 21-4, 21-7, while Velasco took down Justine Vanzuela, 21-9, 21-7.

With the tie secured, the two then teamed up for the second doubles victory over Charles Bagasbas and Vanzuela, 21-14, 21-17, before Padiz Jr. completed the sweep against Miguel Busuego, 21-11, 21-13, in the final singles rubber.

“We’re happy we were able to sustain our winning streak. We just can’t relax as we still have to play in the Finals. Like what we always say to our players we can’t rest until the season is over. We’ll go all-out,” NU assistant coach Kevin Dalisay said.

The Bulldogs and the Blue Eagles dispute the title on Sunday at 8 a.m.

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