University of the Philippines secured a share of the lead in the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Badminton tournament after clinching a 3-2 victory over their neighbor Ateneo de Manila University on Sunday at the Centro Atletico Badminton Center.
Smash Pilipinas standout Jelo Albo set the pace for the Fighting Maroons, marking their first victory against the Blue Eagles since Kyle Legaspi sent the squad into the Season 81 final over Carlo Remo.
“Happy kami sa team and thankful kami na pinagbigyan kami ni Lord ng isang panalo. Looking forward kami sa mga susunod pa na mabibigat na matches,” Fighting Maroons head coach Melvin Llanes said.
Albo, last season’s Rookie of the Year, teamed up with his senior Jason Vanzuela over Arthur Salvado Jr. and Lyrden Laborte, 21-12, 21-16, in clinching the tie in the second doubles match after he put UP on the board with a win over Salvado, 21-16, 21-18, in the opening singles rubber.
Laborte leveled the tie for Ateneo with a dominant performance over Charles Alcarpio in the second singles match, 21-11, 21-8. However, Michael Clemente and Johann Abinales restored UP’s advantage with a 21-16, 23-21 victory over Charles Bagasbas and Allen Panute in the first doubles rubber, sealing the victory.
Lance Vargas had the last say for the Blue Eagles with a 23-21, 21-13 win over Kervin Llanes to close out the day.
On the other hand, University of the Philippines and National University relied on their current members of the national team pool to secure respective 4-1 victories over University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle University, respectively.
UP’s Sushmita Ramos embraced the challenge brought about by the graduation of fellow Smash Pilipinas upstart Lea Inlayo, winning both of her assignments for the day.
The second-year Fighting Maroon put her team on the board with a 21-12, 21-9 victory over Sofia Ignacio before partnering with Anthea Gonzalez to secure the win in the second doubles, prevailing 21-17, 21-17 against Marielle Alvarez and Patricia De Leon.
Photos and article from UAAP media.