ROOKIE Jana de Vera carried Ateneo to a 3-2 victory over Far Eastern University on Sunday as the Lady Eagles took the UAAP Season 75 badminton tournament via sweep at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.
The Lady Eagles copped their second championship in the league with an unbeaten 9-0 record.
Earlier, National University bounced back from its stunning loss in the Finals opener by nipping defending champion Ateneo, 3-2, to move within a win of bagging the men’s title.
The power-hitting De Vera, who went to Trace College in high school, outclassed Dei Duquilla, 21-15, 21-16, in the deciding singles to clinch the victory for Ateneo.
“We are very proud of her. This whole season, she really played well,” said Lady Eagles coach Kennie Asuncion. “She is a good addition to the team.”
Ateneo will again be the top favorite next year as the Lady Eagles will field in an intact lineup.
Joper Escueta capped the Bulldogs’ comeback from a 0-2 hole as he overcame Patrick Natividad, 19-21, 21-16, 21-11, in the deciding singles match.
It was a painful setback for the Blue Eagles, who were poised to score a repeat of their 3-0 victory in the opener last Saturday.
The third meeting is set on Wednesday.
In the first singles match, reigning MVP Toby Gadi thrashed Jayson Oba-ob, 21-15, 21-13, while Justin Natividad downed Andrei Babad, 21-19, 21-13, in the second singles.
Playing with a sense of urgency, NU dominated in doubles play as Escueta and Aries delos Santos defeated the tandem of Gadi and Patrick Natividad, 21-15, 21-19, while Babad and Oba-ob downed JC Carlos and Arlo Madrid 21-6, 21-8.
The Bulldogs hold a ‘thrice-to-beat’ championship incentive after sweeping the seven-game eliminations.