UAAP: Green Woodpushers suffer third-straight losses, Lady Woodpushers stumble to fifth place

The DLSU Green Woodpushers continued their struggles through rounds three and four this weekend, October 21 to 22, at the FEU Tech Building, with losses against UST and FEU, 3.5-0.5 and 3-1, respectively. Meanwhile, the Lady Woodpushers ended their match against the UP Fighting Maroons at a 2-all draw but suffered their first defeat at the hands of the FEU Lady Tamaraws, 2.5-1.5.

Heading into these matches, the Green Woodpushers looked to end a two-game losing streak, while the Lady Woodpushers aimed to break into the rankings after a stalemate in the previous round. Their records now stand at 1-0-3 and 0-2-1, respectively.

Veteran Woodpusher Cyril Felrod Telesforo led DLSU in the trying efforts, scoring a point on two draws in the two rounds. Meanwhile, Francois Magpily was the bright spot for the Lady Woodpushers as she garnered a team-high 1.5 points through a win and a draw.

Pedestrian start

The Green Woodpushers started the third round slow, with Daniel Lemi losing his matchup against UST’s Melito Oscan in a lengthy battle lasting 51 moves. Francis Guimalan gained the endgame advantage over Chester Reyes on board three but unfortunately lost on time. Alternate John Escutin lost in a similar fashion, running out the clock before he could capitalize on his pawn advantage. Meanwhile, C.F. Telesforo went toe-to-toe against his Fide Master opponent Christian Daluz, forcing a draw following a mutual agreement.

With this second-straight loss, La Salle plunged down the rankings, falling to fifth place—just shy of being last. Team Captain Guimalan admitted that it was a tough loss for everyone but reassured that the team has not lost confidence, saying, “It was heartbreaking, since three of us lost and only one was able to get a draw. When you look at it, we were actually leading, but we lost due to blunders and [failing] to convert. However, we still have pride in the team even going against powerhouses such as UST.”

Meanwhile, the Lady Woodpushers had identical results to Round Two, as they started off the weekend with a draw against UP. Checy Aliena Telesforo and Sara Olendo both tallied draws against their opponents in games that lasted 71 moves and 39 moves, respectively. Rinoa Sadey lost against Geraldine Guyo, but Magpily equalized for DLSU with her win over Precious Ferrer in 51 moves. 

With two-straight draws, head coach Susan Neri knew that the team needed more time to gel, especially against the top contenders that they have been facing so far. “In terms of our team chemistry, we’re still determining what works best for us, but I consider it a blessing for us, going against these powerhouses early into the season,” she claimed.

Struggles continue

The losing pattern continued for the Green Woodpushers into the fourth round, as all four players failed to win their boards. Instead, C.F. Telesforo and Olvido settled for stalemates against Hans Olorosismo and National Master Christian Olaybal, while Lemi and Guimalan lost their matchups against Fide Master Jeth Morado and John Gelua.

For the Lady Woodpushers, their Round Four matchups proved to be their toughest, as FEU fielded a quartet of Women National Masters. The Lady Woodpushers put up a valiant effort, with Sadey redeeming herself with a win against Rizalyn Tejada, while Magpily forced a draw against Mary Tan. However, the Tamaraws were able to edge out the remaining boards to secure the victory.

Adjustments and future preparations

While the situation seems unpromising, team Captain Guimalan remains positive that he and his team can still turn the season around. He stated, “Pagpag lang. We have good positioning, we have good openings. We just have to convert and finish strong, and we will execute that next week.”

(We just need to shake it off.)

For the Lady Woodpushers, who remain winless, the approach remains the same, though with an added hunger and intensity. Coach Neri reassured, “For me, same approach pa din. I’m here to help them with their crafts, and my focus is for the team to grow together. Of course, we won’t train exactly the same for every opponent. [We need] more hunger to win.”

The Lady Woodpushers remain active and will be back to the action at 1 pm next Wednesday, October 25, against archrival ADMU Blue Eagles, while the Green Woodpushers will continue their quest for gold next Saturday, October 28, against the UP Fighting Maroons at 1 pm at the same venue.

Julio Amir Tampis

By Julio Amir Tampis

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