NATIONAL University made quick work of La Salle, 3-0, to move within a win of reclaiming the UAAP men's badminton throne on Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.
"We were very focused and well rested because of our one-week break," said former MVP Joper Escueta after leading the Bulldogs to their eighth straight victory.
Escueta overpowered John Kenneth Monterubio, 21-16, 21-12, in the first singles and later joined forces with Ariel Magnaye in a 21-14, 21-14 doubles victory over Gerald Sibayan and Carlos Cayanan.
Magnaye also shone, as he gave NU's other win in the second singles by dispatching Sibayan, 21-12, 21-16.
Later, defending women's champion Ateneo eliminated Far Eastern University, 3-1, to forge a meeting with unbeaten University of the Philippines in the finals.
The Bulldogs, who also swept the Green Archers two weeks ago, hold a thrice-to-beat eliminations by sweeping all of their seven ties in the eliminations.
The second encounter is tentatively set on Sunday at 9 a.m.
Patricia Malibiran overcame a second set loss to beat Michal Dei Duquilla, 21-12, 14-21, 21-9, in the opening singles, while reigning MVP Bianca Carlos easily beat Thea Pomar in the second singles, 21-9, 21-15, to give the Lady Eagles the commanding lead.
The Lady Tamaraws got a lifeline alive as Pomar and Hannah Tudtud nipped Jana de Vera and Dia Magno, 21-23, 21-19, 21-17 in the first doubles.
But Carlos and Malibiran sealed the deal for Ateneo, hacking out a 21-19, 21-18 decision over Duquilla and Maridel Rivera.
FEU, which beat La Salle in the first stepladder, wound up third.