The UAAP Season 82 Badminton Tournament reels off Wednesday with three men’s and three women’s ties at the Centro Athletico Badminton Court in Quezon City.
Reigning five-time champion National University and women’s titleholder Ateneo drew an opening day bye and will see action on Friday at the same venue.
Last season’s men’s runner-up University of the Philippines will take on University of the East at 8 a.m., at the same time that University of Santo Tomas and Ateneo, and Adamson University and De La Salle take the floor.
Women’s action will commence at 1 p.m., with last year’s losing finalist UP battling UE, UST clashing with De La Salle and Adamson University tackling with NU.
The Bulldogs will open their men’s title-retention bid against the Blue Eagles at 8 a.m. on Friday, while the Lady Eagles set in motion their quest for a back-to-back women’s championship against the Taft-based Lady Shuttlers at 1 p.m.
NU became the winningest men’s badminton program, capturing six championships overall in the last seven seasons.
The Bulldogs, who swept the Fighting Maroons in last year’s Finals, completed their fifth straight perfect season, extending their streak to 43 ties dating back from 2014.
Mike Minuluan, one of the five graduating players who claimed the Season 81 MVP honors, won’t be around for NU’s shot at another title.
Ateneo, on the other hand, capped a Cinderella run by capturing its first women’s title in five years via a 2-0 championship sweep of UP last season behind co-MVPs Chanelle Lunod and Geva de Vera.
Before sweeping the top-ranked Lady Maroons, the Lady Eagles defeated the second-ranked Lady Bulldogs twice in the Final Four to make it to the Finals after missing the bus the previous year.