ATENEO subdued National University in three final matches, 2-3, 3-0, 3-2, to capture the men’s team gold and complete its historic sweep of the UAAP badminton crowns at Jumpsmash Badminton Courts in QC recently.
The Blue Shuttlers fought back from a first finals match setback to sweep the next two as Patrick Natividad, Justin Natividad, Clarence Filart, Bryan Garrido, Theodore Co, Sean Chan, Kyle Gosiaco, and Arlo Madrid stepped up to frustrate the Bulldogs and fashion out the come-from-behind victory.
Patrick Natividad went on to bag the MVP honors.
The win came after Ateneo’s women’s team beat arch rival La Salle in two finals matches, 3-1, 3-2, capped by a thrilling 21-18 victory in the decider of the last singles match to essay a first-ever double victory in badminton for a school in a UAAP season.
“I have always believed that we could secure this historic double gold. It took us a long time to make this dream a reality. It was all worth the wait. I'm so proud of the team," said Ateneo team manager and host of the country's most popular annual badminton FDG Cup Frederick D. Go.
Dia Magno, Bianca Carlos, Patrisha Malibiran, Jana De Vera, Nicole Nieto, Paula Filart and Jaimie Calacday made up the crack Ateneo women’s squad with Carlos winning the Rookie of the Year and MVP honors, with Asuncion-Robles sweeping the coach of the year award for both divisions.
Asuncion-Robles, a former national mainstay, credited Ateneo’s record romp to good and near-perfect combination and thanked athletics director Ricky Palou, Fr. Jett Villarin, Fr. Ben Nebres, Fr. Nemie Que and FDG for their all-out support.
“Needless to say our players and their parents are key to all these success. Our support group also much covered everything else and the players and I simply did our job which was to train hard and give it our all," said Asuncion-Robles.
Both the Ateneo teams also made a record clean sweep in the elims, beating NU, UST, La Salle, UP, FEU, Adamson and UE to gain thrice-to-beat advantage in the finals.