The DLSU Green Shuttlers start their season with a bang, defeating both the AdU Soaring Falcons and the ADMU Blue Eagles in the first weekend of the UAAP Season 77 Badminton tournament. By winning 4-1 against the Soaring Falcons and 3-2 against the Blue Eagles, the Green Shuttlers put themselves on the top of the league with a 2-0 record.
Taking on the Falcons
In their match-up against the Soaring Falcons, the Green Shuttlers showed no sign of first game jitters as they wasted no time in taking the fight to their opponents. As a result, they won their first four games against the Soaring Falcons. However, their last game slipped away from them. This victory was brought by the impressive individual performances of DLSU’s Gerald Sibayan and Kenneth Monterubio; as well as the performances of the teams of Elijah Boac and Jerickson Obaob, and the team of Carlos Cayanan and Prince Monterubio.
The first game between DLSU’s Gerald Sibayan and Adamson’s Ruben Haramel wasn’t close to say the least. Sibayan dominated the first two sets to take the first win of the Green Shuttlers with the scores: 21-14 and 21-13.
To add on to the first win was the dominating performance of DLSU’s Kenneth Monterubio over Adamson’s Jerome Pechera in the second game. Monterubio finished the game by winning the first two sets, 21-12 and 21-15. Unlike the first two matches, the doubles match between the team of DLSU’s Elijah Boac and Jerickson Obaob and the team of Adamson’s Johnrick Macabenta and Jerome Pechera was a nail biter.
In spite of losing a close first set against the Green Shuttlers, the Soaring Falcons rallied back with a dominating performance in the second set, but they weren’t able to capitalize on this by winning the last set. Boac and Obaob were able to give the Green Shuttlers their third win with the scores: 23-21, 15-21, and 21-19.
Giving the Green Shuttlers their fourth win last saturday was the team of Carlos Cayanan and Prince Monterubio who beat the team of E.J. Villoria and Keith Reyes by winning two straight sets, 22-20 and 21-15.
Unfortunately, the Green Shuttlers lost their last game against the Falcons because of the impressive performance of E.J. Villoria against DLSU’s Glenn Camillo. Villoria was able to grind out the victory after winning two very close sets against Camillo, 24-22 and 23-21.
Day two: A comeback for the win
The Green Shuttlers pulled off a huge come-from-behind victory against rival school Ateneo, edging out the Blue Eagles three games to two. “Ever since, kapag Ateneo [versus] La Salle, alam naman natin may rivalry. Any sport meron,” says DLSU coach Owen Lopez. The Taft-based squad dropped the first two singles games but bounced back as they dominated the Blue Eagles, finishing off the rest of the singles and doubles matches in just two sets.
Green shuttler Gerald Sibayan failed to take the first game against Ateneo’s Justin Natividad. After cruising through the first set with a score of 21-16, Sibayan struggled heavily as Ateneo took the next two sets, 21-10 and 21-14. DLSU also dropped the second game after Green Shuttler John Kenneth Monterubio lost to Ateneo’s Pawee Natividad, two sets to one. Bowing down to Ateneo’s Natividad in the first set, 21-17, Monterubio gained confidence, winning the second set with a score of 21-18. However, Monterubio clearly had trouble with his opponent as he lost the tie-breaking set with a margin of 11 points, 21-10.
The Green Shuttlers, however took control in the three remaining games between the collegiate rivals. Hungry for revenge, Gerald Sibayan along with his teammate Anton Cayanan dominated the first doubles match against Ateneo’s Justin Natividad and Carlo Remo, finishing the game early, 21-15, 21-16 in the first and second sets respectively.
Brothers Prince and Kenneth Monterubio also closed out the game in just two sets as they outclassed the Blue Eagles Pawee Natividad and Theodore Co, 21-14 and 21-18. The DLSU Green Shuttlers finally completed the comeback after Anton Cayanan shined against Carlo Remo, whom Cayanan also faced in a doubles match prior to the game. Cayanan never gave his foe a chance as he finished the game early with set scores of 21-13 and 21-18.
With a 2-0 record under their belts, the DLSU Green Shuttlers look to continue their excellent showing in the coming weeks of the tournament. “Ang concern ko lang sa kanila is mawala yung pressure. basta enjoy the game lang pagdating sa court at the same time tulungan lang dahil team competition ito,” commented Coach Lopez regarding their game plan. The action continues this week as the Green Shuttlers face The UE Red Warriors on Wednesday, 9 a.m. at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.