For the first time since Season 77, both the Green Tennisters and the Lady Tennisters were able to pull out victories on the same day versus the NU Bulldogs and UP Lady Maroons, respectively. With both teams winning by scores of 3-2, each team had to fight and claw its way to end up on the winning side against their respective opponents.
Lady Tennisters claim first victory
Fielding in Kiana Gacias and Kylla Orillosa for the first time in singles competition, both were not able to get into a rhythm as the rookies were dominated by their UP counterparts. The former was not able to win a game against CJ Valdez, while the latter lost, 1-6, 2-6, to Dane Carranza.
Not willing to give in, however, the Lady Tennisters never backed down, continuing to fight even with the early 2-0 deficit. First, it was the team of Jed Aquino and Princess Castillo who were able to put La Salle on the board, winning against UP’s Dana Uy and Monivic Santos. It was a nerve wrecking game for both the players and the fans, as both sets went into a tiebreak. In both, the Lasallians were able to step up their play as they held the Lady Maroons to just two points in each of the deciders.
On the other court, DLSU’s Chang Atangan and Jenni Dizon were able to make quick work of Monica Cortez and Denise Jimenez, winning the first set, 6-0. Though the next set did go into a tiebreak, the duo from Taft was able to bring home the match, winning the tiebreak, 7-5.
With this, the result of this tie rested on the outcome of the singles match between DLSU captain Rachelle de Guzman and Nicole Eugenio. Eventually, the captain would win in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, to give the Lady Tennisters their first win of the season.
Green Tennisters stay hungry
While they have already shown much improvement from last year, the Green Tennisters were still hungry for more, as a spot in the finals is still a possibility.
Unfortunately for the Lasallians, they were instantly facing a deficit after its team of Hans Asistio and Raphael Teng was defeated by Bulldogs Kiko Alcantara and Allen Manlangit in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3. Team captain Kyle Parpan, though, continued his stellar play, holding off Jeric Accion’s comeback attempt after the latter was able to tie the match with a 6-2 second set win. In response, Parpan won the last set, 6-0, to knot the tie at one match a piece.
To make things more difficult for the Green Tennisters, their other doubles team of Jonah Cano and Qoqo Allian was also unable to overcome their NU opponents. In the end, Justine Prulla and Jigo Pena proved to be too much for the duo, beating the Lasallians, 6-3, 6-2, to give NU a 2-1 advantage in the overall tie.
Not having any margin for error, La Salle needed both LA Canizares and Betto Orendain to win their respective singles matches for an overall victory. Happening simultaneously, the pressure was on for both Green Tennisters.
Things did not begin as planned for Canizares, as he lost the first set, 6-4, to Arc Dolorito. He, however, was able to tremendously bounce back, winning the second set, 6-0. With Orendain having won his first set against Macky Latorre, 6-3, both men were one set away from giving DLSU victory.
To start the third set, Dolorito was immediately able to get a 2-0 advantage. Canizares, though, was able to fight back to win the next five games, putting him one game away from victory. While NU was able to win the next game, the Green Tennister was able to close out the last set, 6-3, to give both teams two match wins each.
All eyes were now on the match between Orendain and Latorre, as the result of this tie followed the outcome of this match. Though down 1-0 early, the former was able to break serve and take a 3-2 advantage. In time, Orendain was able to win the second set, 6-2, adding another to the team’s win column.
Now holding a record of four wins and four losses, the Green Tennisters will look to upset the first place UE Red Warriors, as they face off on Saturday, March 11, at 8 am. On the other hand, the Lady Tennisters will look to build off the momentum of their first win of the season as they face the NU Lady Bulldogs on the same day, at 12 noon. Both ties are set to be played at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.