ATENEO booked the remaining semifinal berth in the UAAP men’s badminton tournament with a 3-1 victory over University of Santo Tomas in yesterday’s playoff.
The Blue Eagles at the same time avenged last Saturday’s 2-3 loss to the Growling Tigers at the end of the preliminaries.
Ateneo will now face La Salle in the first stepladder knockout phase in the semis on Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.
Three-peat seeking National University is already in the best-of-three championship series after winning all its seven elimination round ties, while University of the Philippines holds the twice-to-beat bonus in the second step-ladder semis after finishing second with a 6-1 card.
Clarence Filart drew first blood for the Eagles by beating Christian Yabut, 21-17, 21-11 in the first singles match.
Jan Mangubat made it a 2-0 lead for Ateneo with a 21-13, 21-11 dismantling of Kristian Barrios in the second singles.
UST stayed alive Paul Pantig and Edgar Reyes carved out a 21-16, 21-16 win over Filart and Sean Chan in the first doubles.
Ateneo finally clinched the ties courtesy of Hanz Bernardo and Mangubat who defeated Mark Sotea and Barrios, 21-12, 21-18, in the second doubles.