Last year’s runner-up finalists National U and Ateneo de Manila University proved that they are still of championship caliber, defeating the DLSU Men’s and Women’s Badminton team respectively in the UAAP Season 75 Badminton Championships last August 15.
The lopsided loss shattered the back to back winning streak of the Lady Shuttlers, bringing them to third, while the perfect win of their men counterparts in their previous game was immediately overshadowed with their defeat, dropping them to sixth of the standings.
Both teams pulled only a single victory against their opponents in a 1-4 fashion at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.
Falling back down
While the DLSU Green Shuttlers hoped that the match-up against NU will bring them their second win, NU, with its two win streak, blocked the hopes of the Taft-based squad, causing them to fall back on their second loss this season.
As DLSU ties with NU with one game apiece, first doubles Ronel Estanislao and Lance Bautista of the Green Shuttlers face off with NU’s Rabie Oba-Ob and Aries Delos Santos.
The first set of the match was in favor of DLSU, until the tables turned in the second set, with NU seizing the opportunity while finishing the deal in the third set when the tandem of Estanislao and Bautista was at its weakest.
The game ended in favor of NU scoring 21-15, 20-22, 17-21.
The first doubles proved to be the downfall of DLSU in the match-up against NU.
“Kasi inaasahan talaga namin na panalo ‘yung [first men’s] doubles,” Shuttlers’ Mentor Owen Lopez shared.
Coach Owen Lopez explained that the first doubles was their hope in winning the match; however, he also shared that communication and consistency were among the two factors that made DLSU slip away from its victory.
Earlier in the singles match, Green Shuttler JC Clarito gave up a close 10-21, 22-24 loss against NU’s top dog Philip Escueta in the first singles of the match.
The second singles started out slow for the Green Shuttlers as NU’s Andrei Babad took the first set against Kenneth Monterubio.
This wasn’t the case, however, for the second and third set as Monterubio dominated Babad throughout the game, finishing it with a face to face smash to finally bag a game for DLSU, ending it at 16-21, 21-9, 21-12.
Second doubles came into play as DLSU’s Carlos Cayanan and Gerald Sibayan were pitted against NU’s Escueta and Babad.
Cayanan and Sibayan’s defenses weren’t enough to block the barrages made by Escueta and Babad, allowing the NU tandem to pull off a 6-0 exchange in the second set and ending the game with 21-16, 21-12, sealing the Green Shuttlers’ hopes for a win.
Green Shuttler Estanislao failed to win the third singles against earlier doubles competitor Oba-Ob, in the hopes of raising their team tie after three sets, 21-19, 19-21, 16-21.
Cutting the ladies’ steak
The Lady Shuttlers, fresh from a 4-1 victory against Adamson, had a taste of their own medicine after losing against their archrivals, the Ateneo Lady Eagles, in a 4-1 win for the Katipunan-based squad.
“Actually, hindi namin inexpect na magiging ganun result ng game namin, kung baga yung mga inaasahan kong magdeliver ng good game, talagang ‘di nagdeliver,” Coach Lopez said.
In the battle of the top rookie of their season, the younger Gelita Castilo edged Lady Shuttler Danica Bolos first singles 19-21, 21-7, 21-13.
In the second singles, DLSU’s Danica San Ignacio was cut short by Janelle De Vera in a close match of 23-21, 21-18 which ended the bout in Ateneo’s favor.
Kristelle Salatan and Aires Montilla became quick work at the hands of ADMU’s Castilo and Dia Magno in the first doubles, scoring 21-10, 21-13, which then sealed the fate of the Lady Shuttlers after losing 3 straight pairings against their archrivals.
“Alam mo naman tayo pag Ateneo-Lasalle, as in matalo man tayo, alam natin na lalaban,” Coach Lopez shared.
Raising DLSU’s morale in the second doubles were Flo Lamigo and Danica Bolos, who managed to defeat ADMU’s Lisa Encarnacion and De Vera, scoring 12-21, 17-21, earning DLSU their first and last win in the match.
Delivering another blow to the fallen Lady Shuttlers was returning Magno, who defeated Angelica Ramos to score 21-17, 21-12 in the third singles of the match, giving Ateneo their 4-1 victory over La Salle.
“Sana lang matuto sila na kami [coaches] nasa labas and sila [players] nasa loob. May nakikita ‘yung coach na hindi nila nakikita sa loob ng court. Hindi ko alam kung bakit ang tagal ma-adapt ‘yung sinasabihan namin,” Coach Lopez ended.
Both DLSU Badminton teams are sure to be back with more intensity as the Green Shuttlers squares off with Adamson University at 9AM, while the Lady Shuttlers reclaim their loss as they clash with National University Lady Bulldogs at 1PM, both this Saturday.