The DLSU Green Shuttlers once again finished in second place as they bowed down to the National University Bulldogs in the finals of the UAAP Season 78 Badminton tournament. The Lady Shuttlers on the other hand, succumbed to the Ateneo Lady Eagles despite holding a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.
Close but no cigar
The DLSU Green Shuttlers started their season strong as they triumphed over the UP Fighting Maroons and the Adamson Soaring Flacons with identical 4-1 match scores. Gaining confidence, the Taft-based squad then continued their winning ways as they won their three next matches against the FEU Tamaraws, the Ateneo Blue Eagles, and the UE Red Warriors with scores of 4-1, 4-1, and 5-0, respectively.
With their wins, the Green Shuttlers remained at the top of the standings while ensuring their spot in the semifinals. During the knockout round, DLSU faced their archrivals, the Ateneo Blue Eagles. DLSU triumphed over the Blue Eagles in convincing fashion as they took down the Katipunan-based squad in three straight matches. DLSU’s Anton Cayanan and Kenneth Monterubio both showcased their dominance as they were victors in the first two singles matches of the series. Cayanan vanquished Carlo Remo, 2-1, and Monterubio outscored Clarence Filart in two straight games. The duo of Cayanan and Gerald Sibayan secured DLSU’s finals spot as the Taft-based tandem triumphed over Ateneo’s Bernardo-Remo in the doubles match, 2-0.
The Green Shuttlers looked to clinch the title in the finals as they faced the defending champions, the NU Bulldogs. The Green Shuttlers fell to the Bulldogs in Game 1 of the finals, 3-0. NU showcased their aggressive gameplay as their team captain Peter Magnaye defeated Sibayan in two straight games. The Bulldogs continued to build a head of steam as they again outscored DLSU in the second singles match, two games to one. Monterubio managed to get the first game, but NU’s Keeyan Gabuelo caught up with the lead, winning the last two games. Green Shuttlers Cayanan and Sibayan were swept in their doubles match, losing the first finals game, 3-0.
The second game was no different from the finals opener as DLSU lost to NU in four matches, finishing in the second spot for the second consecutive season. Cayanan bowed to Ross Pedrosa in two games. Monterubio, however, managed to gain the first win of the day for the Green Shuttlers as he dominated the following game against Gabuelo, 2-1. The Taft-based squad ended the season as they lost their next two matches. DLSU’s Cayanan-Sibayan duo fell to NU’s Magnaye-Morada, 2-1. NU then continued their winning ways as Bulldogs Pedrosa and Paul Gonzales outscored Green Shuttlers’ Monterubio brothers in the final match of the season, 2-1. National University bagged back-to-back crowns, as the Green Shuttlers retained last year’s finish in second place.
The Lady Shuttlers had a stellar elimination round this season, grabbing the second best record in the league with a 6-1 win-loss record entering the final four.
The ladies from Taft started the tournament on fire as they notched their first two wins in convincing fashion. La Salle defeated rivals Ateneo with a 4-1 match tally against the injury riddled Lady Eagles. The next day, they dominated the NU Lady Bulldogs with a 4-1 tally as well.
The Lady Shuttlers suffered their only defeat of the eliminations at the hands of the UP Lady Maroons, 3-2. The Lady Maroons won the first three matches as they secured the victory early in the match.
After tasting defeat, DLSU bounced back versus the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigresses, escaping with the 3-2 victory behind rookie player Nicole Albo’s hot streak.
La Salle’s momentum picked up once again in their three remaining
games of the season, posting dominant games against Adamson University, University of the East, and Far Eastern University. The Lady Shuttlers won very lopsided games versus Adamson and UE with 5-0 match wins. DLSU then rounded up their best eliminations performance in years with a commanding 4-1 victory against the Lady Tamaraws.
The Green-and-White entered the postseason with a twice-to-beat advantage against Ateneo. ADMU briefly struggled in the elimination round with untimely injuries in their lineup. However, they seemed to be rejuvenated in the semifinals as they shrugged off DLSU’s twice-to-beat advantage with a 3-1 win in the first game. The Lady Eagles then picked up where they left off in the first game as they completed the upset in their second meeting, winning 3-1, to advance to the finals.
The Lady Eagles went on to the finals but were swept by the University of the Philippines in two games as the Lady Maroons snagged their second straight UAAP Women’s Badminton Championship.