UAAP: Green and Lady Shuttlers shaky in return to action, drop opening matches against the Blue Eagles and Lady Bulldogs

The DLSU Green Shuttlers opened the UAAP Season 86 Badminton tournament unable to secure a victory against their rival, the ADMU Blue Eagles, 5-0, earlier today, October 28, at the Centro Atletico Badminton Center in Quezon City. The team struggled to get on the scoreboard against the strong play of the Katipunan-based squad.

The DLSU Lady Shuttlers also faced adversity as they fell to the NU Lady Bulldogs, 4-1, in what was a one-sided showdown. Mia Manguilimotan bagged the only victory for the team in her singles match.

Slow start

The showdown between the Green Shuttlers and Blue Eagles started with Jason Pajarillo and Lyrden Laborte, respectively. Their first match began with a tight battle as they traded points before going into the first break. Laborte led by a point, 11-10. However, as the players resumed the match, Pajarillo was on the receiving end of multiple runs that resulted in the loss of the Green and White’s opening game, 21-13 and 21-10. Ateneo struck first in the series of matches, 1-0.

Joshua Cuarte represented the Taft-based team in the second game against Blue Eagle Lance Vargas. Cuarte took off with a strong start to their match, taking an early 2-0 lead in the first match. Despite this, Vargas kept the score close and held the advantage for the majority of their two matchups. The game ended 21-17 and 21-18, seeing DLSU with a 2-0 deficit.

In the final singles match, DLSU’s James Capin responded to an early 9-0 run by ADMU’s Arthur Salvado with a 5-0 run of his own, keeping himself within striking distance. However, Capin was unable to defeat Salvado as he lost both games, 21-11 and 21-10. After the three games, the Green Shuttlers trailed the Blue Eagles, 3-0.

Keeping it close

On the doubles side, Joshua Morada and Yugin Tan suited up for the Green Shuttlers to face off against Salvado and Laborte for the first match. Morada and Tan looked comfortable as the duo took the lead multiple times in the process, showcasing resiliency. However, La Salle suffered a huge comeback by Ateneo that saw them on the losing end, 21-17 and 21-13.

The final doubles game kicked off with ADMU holding a 4-0 advantage. Jeff Cruz and Yuan Tan came close as they traded points with Blue Eagles Charles Bagasbas and Allen Penute on multiple occasions. The Lasallian duo was able to force errors against their opponent but came up short, losing 21-19 and 21-12. The Green Shuttlers left the court falling to their rivals in a 5-0 sweep, dropping their opening match of the season.

A bright spark

In the women’s tournament, Palma Cruz started the Lady Shuttlers’ campaign as she faced Ysabel Amora of the Lady Bulldogs. In the first game, Cruz was on the receiving end of early runs from Amora as she trailed eight points going into the break, 11-3. 

After that, the Lasallian showed life with a run of her own but was unable to capitalize on her momentum, losing 21-10. In the following set, Cruz immediately took control of the opening rallies as she successfully held a constant three-point lead until the break, 11-8. Cruz was able to hold on, but a late outburst by Amora that saw her completing a 5-0 run shifted the momentum, ultimately ending the second set in favor of the Lady Bulldogs, 21-15. After the first match, the Green and White trailed 1-0.

DLSU’s Ghiselle Bautista also went up against NU’s Karyll Rio. Bautista came close to toppling her opponent early in the opening set as she took a four-point lead, 10-6. However, Rio immediately caught up with a five-point streak and held the advantage heading into the break, 11-10. Bautista was unable to retaliate after a Lady Bulldogs run with six-straight scores, but the Lady Archer kept her head up and the battle close. Unfortunately, Bautista ended up dropping the first game, 21-18. In the following set, Bautista fell behind by a huge margin as Rio went on two 5-0 runs before the break, 11-2. The lead proved to be too big as La Salle lost the succeeding period on a 21-8 blowout. The Lady Shuttlers trailed 2-0 against the Lady Bulldogs.

Manguilimotan was the final singles player for La Salle, going head-to-head against NU’s Yvonnie Dema-ano. In their first game, Manguilimotan was down by seven points midway through, 15-8, but managed to launch a 7-0 run to tie the game, 15-all. However, the Lady Shuttler wasted her momentum and lost the set, 21-18. In the second game, Manguilimotan showcased a better start with a 6-0 run and held a four-point advantage, 7-3. She maintained the pressure on her opponent, fueling two runs to keep the lead. This earned Manguilimotan the victory in the second game, 21-14. Going into the final set, she kept it going, starting with 5-0. Dema-ano attempted a comeback, but the Lady Shuttler fended off all of ADMU’s runs until the break, 11-9. The two traded points after the break, but Manguilimotan ended the tight bout in dominant fashion, scoring five straight points to give DLSU their first win of the afternoon, 21-16.

Within arms reach

The doubles games commenced with La Salle behind 2-1. Lady Shuttlers Manguilimotan and Vinia Antonio squared off against Lady Bulldogs Sarah Barredo and Lee-Anne De Leon. In their first game, the Lasallian duo kept the Lady Bulldogs at bay as they took an early lead, 6-4. But Manguilimotan and Antonio were unable to keep up with their opponents as they lost their first game, 21-14. Consequently, the Lady Shuttlers set the pace but were unable to contain the Lady Bulldogs in the succeeding set, 21-12. The team-tie score was 3-1 in favor of NU.

For the second doubles game, Cruz suited up once again and paired up with Shaynne Boloron to take on Alysa Desacola and Jeya Pinlac. Cruz and Boloron saw themselves in a tight-knit first game as both sides were unable to pull away. Despite the pressure, the Lasallian duo went on a streak and scored six straight points to finish their first game, winning 21-18. 

In the second set, Cruz and Boloron maintained their momentum, keeping the score tied, 7-all. However, Cruz slipped and raised injury concerns as the Lady Bulldogs were able to spark two runs to take the lead, 16-11. Cruz and Boloron put up a fight, tying the score at 17-all. Despite this, the Lady Archers lost grip and gave up four straight points and lost the game, 21-17. The third game ultimately went to the hands of NU after a late run, 21-14. DLSU suffered their first defeat of the season, unable to tame the Lady Bulldogs, 4-1.

Despite the outcome, the Green Shuttlers fought a good battle. Cuarte shared his thoughts after his team’s games, “Kaya naman sana, pero kinulang lang talaga.”

(We came close, but our efforts were not enough.)

He added that the pressure of the first game got to the team, “Na-enjoy [naman] namin [ang] laro. Kanina, pressured kaming lahat kaya hindi namin nabigay ‘yung [best] talaga namin.”

(We still enjoyed the game. We were just not able to give our best earlier because of pressure.)

Returning to the same venue tomorrow, October 29, the DLSU Green Shuttlers take on the NU Bulldogs at 8 am, while the Lady Shuttlers are set for a match against the AdU Lady Falcons at 1 pm.

Daniel Quiroga

By Daniel Quiroga

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