The DLSU Green Tennisters and Lady Tennisters both completed their respective seasons last Wednesday, February 24, at the Rizal Memorial Lawn Tennis Courts. While both teams were already eliminated from championship contention, both wanted to end their campaigns on a high note in their respective matches against the UP Fighting Maroons.
The Green Tennisters intended to pull out all the stops to make sure they did not end UAAP Season 78 without a single win to their name. Rookie Betto Orendain looked to set the tone early after dominating Lenard Cheng in a straight-set victory. An effective backhand was key for him in that match as he only dropped a single game. Looking to continue the momentum, the team of Qoqo Allian and Jonah Cano scrapped for every point in their doubles match. After earning a hard fought 7-5 first-set win, they did not look back and won the match after clinching the second set.
Needing just one more match win to secure the victory with three more matches set to be played, all signs were pointing towards a DLSU win. In the middle court, Kyle Parpan won the first set but was unable to bring home a crucial second set that saw him take a 6-5 lead at one point, one he eventually lost in the tie-break. During the deciding third set, disaster struck as the team captain suffered from a severe case of leg cramps. Combined with the warm weather that graced the courts that afternoon, the setback eventually caused him to retire from the match, giving UP their first win.
With two matches still ongoing at that point, La Salle still had a chance to clinch the victory. Argil Canizares and the team of Hans Assistio and Akio Sy, however, were unable to capitalize on the opportunity to give the team their first win this season.
With NU and UST already clinching the two spots in the championship match, the Lady Tennisters just sought to end their season on a high note. Going against winless UP, this appeared to be the perfect opportunity to forge a tie with Ateneo for third place. UP’s Charmain Valdez, though, had different ideas.
In her opening match, Valdez defeated Anna Atangan in straight sets to give the Lady Maroons an early momentum. The rest of the Lady Tennisters, however, responded with some of the best tennis the team had played this season. Leading the way for the Taft-based squad was Marinel Rudas, who is one of the team’s most consistent players.
Rudas quickly beat UP’s Joanna Pena in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1. Feeding off her leadership, the team did not drop another set and won all four of their remaining matches. While it was not easy for Jed Aquino and the two doubles teams, Castillo and Arandia and Dizon and Hitosis, they were able to get the job done. With the win, the Lady Tennisters ended the season with a 3-5 win-loss record.
With a combined 3 wins and 15 losses, it is safe to say this was not the season the men and women were hoping for. A lot of work will have to be done to make sure next year will be different, with this season’s results serving as motivation for them to come back much better in Season 79.
Wednesday, February 24
Men’s (vs UP)
- Orendain d. Cheng (6-1, 6-0)
- Allian/Cano d. Miranda/Joseph (7-5, 6-2)
- Esguerra d. Parpan (5-7, 7-6(3), 4-1 ret.)
- Cano d. Canizares (6-4, 7-5)
- Ferrer/Mariano d. Assistio/Sy (6-3, 1-6, 6-4)
Women’s (vs UP)
- Valdez d. Atangan (6-4, 6-1)
- Rudas d. Pena (6-1, 6-1)
- Aquino d. Cortez (7-5, 6-3)
- Castillo/Arandia d. Banez/Velicaria (6-4, 6-4)
- Dizon/Hitosis d. Santos/Uy (6-2, 7-6(5))