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Unblemished Lady Shuttlers march to semis

The rest of the UAAP still has not found a way to defeat the defending champions, the DLSU Lady Shuttlers, as the Taft-based netters tote an immaculate 7-0 win-loss record at the end of the elimination round of the Women’s Badminton Division of the UAAP Season 73.

The rest of the UAAP still has not found a way to defeat the defending champions, the DLSU Lady Shuttlers, as the Taft-based netters tote an immaculate 7-0 win-loss record at the end of the elimination round of the Women’s Badminton Division of the UAAP Season 73. They will head to the Final Four holding a twice-to-beat advantage over University of Santo Tomas (UST).

DLSU has never been defeated by any university and has lost only six matches while piling up an impressive 29 match victories, with Season 72 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Descka Calilim and last year’s Rookie of the Year Danica Bolos paving the way.

Surviving the scrappy Tamaraws

The Far Eastern University Lady Shuttlers were perilously close to toppling our Shuttlers, but Danica Bolos thrashed any dreams of an upset as she dominated Clarissa Pascual of FEU, 21-12, 21-13, in the final singles match to protect the unbeaten run of the Green-and-White squad. They escaped FEU with the final count of 3-2. The tightly-contested match was held last Sept. at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.

The duo of Geli Ramos and Descka Calimlim earlier bowed to FEU’s Kim Mayono and Rochelle Reyes, 21-5, 21-17, which allowed the Tamaraws to level their head-to-head match-ups against DLSU at 2-2. Then came the convincing victory by Bolos.

In the first doubles match, Bolos and teammate Bernice Arsenio trampled the FEU duo of Pascual and Alyssa Mendoza, 21-16, 21-17, to gain a slim lead over the Morayta-based squad at 2-1.

FEU’s first victory came in the form of a Mayono triumph over Ramos, 21-14, 21-16, in the second singles match. DLSU earlier drew first blood in the first singles match as Calimlim defeated Reyes, 21-18, 21-17.

Grounding the Falcons

Cellar-dwelling Adamson University players showed heart in their pulsating triumph in the second doubles match against DLSU, but the determination of the Green-clad Shuttlers would not be denied as they coasted to a convincing 4-1 conquest of the Falcons, Sept. 4 at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.

The Adamson partners of Lovely Sawada and Lyka Pardo outlasted our Bernice Arsenio and Danica Bolos, 21-18, 21-12, 21-17 after 35 minutes of heated action; but the outcome had already been decided despite the loss as the team earlier took care of business, racing to an early 3-0 lead.

Lasallian shuttlers Descka Calimlim, Geli Ramos, and Rachel Guerrero defeated their rivals in the first two singles matches as well as the first doubles match. It was only during the second doubles match that the team suffered a setback. They still led, 3-1, before rookie standout Danica San Ignacio capped off their sterling performance with a 21-11, 21-8 triumph over Sawada.

Declawing the Tigresses

A loss during their first match would have rattled other squads, but the Lady Shuttlers kept their composure in their Aug. 29 match against the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Lady Shuttlers. DLSU captured the last four matches en route to fending off the challenge offered by the netters from España.

A valiant stand by recruit Danica San Ignacio was weathered by UST’s Patricia Barredo, 21-11, 17-21, 21-14, to give the Yellow-and-White squad a lead against the defending champions. DLSU, however, showed the Tigresses why exactly it won the crown last season as they swept the next four matches and eventually wrested the match from the hands of UST.

Reigning MVP Descka Calimlim evened up the count for DLSU as she defeated Pia Fabros, 23-21, 21-13. Calimlim, who was also a recipient of the Rookie of the Year plum back in Season 70, teamed up with Geli Ramos to outlast the UST duo of Fabros and teammate Patricia Barredo, 21-19, 13-21, 21-10, in a match which lasted nearly an hour.

Another former Rookie of the Year, Danica Bolos, together with teammate Bernice Arsenio, toppled rivals Rochanie Decatoria and Chona Medina. Bolos later on wrapped up the DLSU win with another singles victory.

Asserting their might against Maroons

Fifteen matches and counting. That is the impressive number to beat for the Lady Shuttlers as they claimed their third straight victory, yet to drop a single match, after once more blazing past the University of the Philippines Lady Shuttlers, 5-0, Aug. 28 at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.

The quintet of Descka Calimlim, Danica Bolos, Bernice Arsenio, Geli Ramos and Danica San Ignacio took turns in dismantling the resistance put up by the Diliman-based squad’s Pauline Tan, Mitzel Bausa, Caitlin Dionisio, Bianca Legaspi and Ellaine Malelang.

Calimlim first toppled Tan in their singles encounter to the tune of 21-16, 21-17. San Ignacio then duplicated the feat by rendering an equally impressive 21-17, 21-15 triumph over Bausa. Calimlim also showcased her prowess in doubles action with Ramos as they made it 3-0 courtesy of a 21-16, 21-18 beating of Legaspi and Malelang. Bolos then delivered the final blow, a 21-14, 21-9 triumph over Dionisio.

Auspicious debut

What better way to start your title-retention bid than by blowing out your first two opponents? That is what the Lady Archers did at the start of the badminton action as they overwhelmed the National University (NU) Lady Shuttlers and the Ateneo Lady Shuttlers, both ending with similar 5-0 scores, last Aug. 23 and 22, respectively. Both games were held at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.

Although the final score indicated the DLSU’s dominance, it did not reflect the stand put up by the Bulldogs, who nearly copped the victory from the Green-and-White squad in the first singles and doubles match.

Danica Bolos had her hands full in beating NU’s Kristine Padura, 21-12, 17-21, 21-8. The doubles pair of Rachel Guerrero and Jamie Valle needed 40 minutes to finally fend off the Sampaloc-based squad’s pair of Lovely Taplacido and Padura, 19-21, 21-19, 21-18.

A 40-minute showdown between the pair of Rachel Guerrero and Marie Franz Arsenio, who were pitted against Ateneo’s Audrey Ng and Mikee Roxas, ended with DLSU emerging victorious. The rest of the matches saw the Taft-based squad overwhelming their bitter rivals, including a methodical 21-9, 21-8 beatdown delivered by stalwart Danica San Ignacio against Paula Filart.

By Imman Canicosa

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