MANILA, Philippines – Joper Escueta scored in the third singles, bringing National University its first men’s badminton title in the UAAP with a 3-2 win over Ateneo Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.
Escueta breezed through Ateneo’s Justin Natividad, 21-5, 21-6, in the championship-clinching singles – completing another comeback from 0-2 down, just like in game two.
Also named as the season MVP, Escueta teamed up with Aries Delos Santos in 15-21, 21-16, 21-14 win of the Bulldogs over Toby Gadi and Patrick Natividad in the second doubles to forge the decider.
“I didn’t know even up to the last game that we were going to win. We were under a lot of pressure but we did good,” said a NU head coach Jojo Mance in Filipino.
It was the first ever title in the men’s badminton for the Bulldogs, who avenged its loss to the finals last season, since the even started in the UAAP in 1994.
The Bulldogs were determined to bring the title home, scoring a big, convincing win in the second doubles courtesy of Babad and Oba-ob over JC Carlos and Arlo Madrid, 21-8, 21-8.
The Blue Eagles posted an early after winning the first two singles matches with Patrick Natividad defeating Jayson Oba-ob, 21-16, 21-15, and Gadi besting Andrei Babad, 21-17, 21-13, before yielding three straight.