The DLSU Green Shuttlers opened their UAAP Season 78 on a high note as they won both games during the opening weekend of the Men’s Badminton tournament at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. The Green Shuttlers dominated the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons and the Adamson University Soaring Falcons with identical 4-1 match scores.
The DLSU Lady Shuttlers also had success early on in their season with wins against the National University Lady Bulldogs and last season’s second placers, the Ateneo Lady Eagles, in the opening weekend of Season 78. On the first day, the Lady Shuttlers shut down the Ateneo Lady Eagles with a match score of 4-1. Injuries hounded the Lady Eagles and in the end, they were forced to forfeit two matches. The next day, DLSU took on the National University Lady Bulldogs and performed well, defeating NU with a score of 4-1 as well.
In the first singles match, veteran Green Shuttler Kenneth Monterubio outhustled UP’s Miguel Leonardo as he ended the match in two games, both of which ended at 21-15.
Anton Cayanan and Jerickson Obaob struck back to win the fourth match against Robert Pineda and Rafael Manuel in three games. Cayanan and Obaob dominated the first game, finishing off the Fighting Maroons with a score of 21-11. However, Manuel and Pineda picked up the pace in the second chapter, momentarily forcing a deadlock with a score of 21-17 in the second game. The Green Shuttlers finally took the game and the whole series in the third match, 21-18, thanks to the consistent scoring runs of Cayanan and Obaob.
The final match of the day did not affect the results of the series but EJ Boac did not lack in intensity with his win against UP’s Joseph Lopez. Lopez snatched the first game from Boac, 21-18. Boac and Lopez went toe to toe in the next two matches but Boac would overpower Lopez and win games two and three, 22-20 and 21-18, respectively.
DLSU once again displayed their dominance in the Men’s division in the second day of the opening weekend with a convincing win over the Adamson Soaring Falcons.
Seasoned veteran Kenneth Monterubio drew first blood against Adamson’s EJ Viloria, needing only two games to claim victory. Monterubio, also a Philippine team standout, was just too talented as he dominated both games with a score of 21-13 and 21-19, respectively.
Team captain Boac continued his hot streak, this time against Delizo Gerloth of Adamson in the final match of the day. Boac initially trailed Gerloth but was able to orchestrate a run that tied the game at 13 apiece. Gerloth would only score a single point afterwards as Boac took game one, 21-14. Boac then went to business in the second game, scoring the first six points as he never looked back, winning the match in the second game, 21-13.
Lady Shuttler Ariane Rivera took the first singles game due to an injury sustained by Ateneo’s Trixie Malibiran early in the match. Malibiran outplayed Rivera early on but the Lady Eagle twisted her knee awkwardly during a hard cut and grimaced immediately as she fell down. Despite this, Malibiran willed on and even dominated the first game, 21-10. On the second game, Rivera used clever placing to capitalize on Malibiran’s difficulty to move around. Rivera won the second game with a score of 21-12. When Rivera started to pull away in the third game at 12-7, Ateneo’s coaching staff finally threw in the towel to avoid further injuries to Malibiran’s knee.
After their unfortunate loss, Ateneo took the second match to momentarily tie the series at one apiece. Lady Eagle Bianca Carlos overpowered Angela Sevilla to get the win in just two games with scores of 21-10 and 21-14, respectively.
The first doubles match of the day between DLSU Aires Montilla and Albo and Ateneo’s Casie Lim and Malibiran was also forfeited with the injured Malibiran still unable to play for the Lady Eagles.
The Lady Shuttlers practically captured the win against Ateneo in the second doubles match as the duo of team captain Kristelle Salatan and Alyssa Leonardo defeated the duo of Carlos and Geva de Vera, going up 3-1 in the match tally. De Vera and Carlos led early in the first game, but a five-point blitz by Leonardo gave La Salle a 10-8 lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish until they won, 21-19. Salatan and Leonardo both had five-point scoring runs early in the second period to put the game away early for the Taft-based squad, 21-13.
Keeping the momentum
Ariane Rivera took the first win during the second day of the opening weekend against Amica Duay of National University, winning the match in just two games. Rivera had a tremendous game early on, posting an 11-3 lead midway through the first game. She withstood Duay’s attempts to catch up in the scoring as she won the first game, 21-13. Duay tried to bounce back in the second game as she led early by at least two points in the first half of the game. Rivera had an eight-point scoring run to take the lead and eventually the game for DLSU, 21-16.
The duo of Salatan and Leonardo once again bagged a victory for La Salle, this time against the team of Loverly Magallano and Duay. Salatan and Leonardo quickly capped of the first game with a 21-8 win. The second game, however, didn’t come as easy as the Lady Shuttlers dropped the second game under relentless scoring runs from Duay and Magallano, 21-19. Momentum switched back to Salatan and Leonardo in the middle of the third set as they regained the lead and escaped with a 21-11 win.
The two non-bearing games that followed had no shortage of intensity as both teams fought mainly for their pride. Montilla and Sevilla got the win against the Capillo-Diansay duo of NU, as they ended the first game in a hurry with a score of 21-8. Capillo and Siansay tried to fight back in the second game but their efforts weren’t enough as La Salle ended the match in the second game with a score of 21-17.