UAAP: DLSU Green and Lady Tennisters emerge winless in weekend matchups

After securing their first win of the season against the AdU Soaring Falcons last week, the DLSU Green Tennisters stumbled over another hurdle and will return to the drawing board after failing to take a set from the UST Growling Tigers last February 24 at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center. The Lady Tennisters suffered the same fate, as they bowed down to the reigning champions, the NU Bulldogs, in a lopsided 5-0 defeat at the same venue.

The DLSU Green Tennisters’ fate didn’t get much better in their following game, which took place on February 25 at the same venue. Despite a valiant effort, they succumbed in a heartbreaking 5-1 match against the NU Bulldogs.

A painful blow

Determined to continue their UAAP Tennis Tournament stint strong, the gutsy Green and Lady Tennisters went up against the respective men’s and women’s defending champions, the UST Growling Tigers, and the NU Lady Bulldogs. La Salle’s CJ Silva started the match against NU’s Adeline Abadia but failed to build momentum as Silva stumbled during the first set by only scoring one point, 6-1. Lady Tennister Team Captain Maikee Vicencio faced Lady Bulldog Danna Abad with the first set in favor of the defending champions, 6-4. Vicencio quickly bounced back, taking control of the second set, 6-2. The following match saw a familiar outing as the previous events as DLSU’s Arianne Nillasca and Amor Idjao fell flat to NU’s Rovie Baulete and Angela Cabaral, with both sets ending at 6-3. The NU Lady Bulldogs mercilessly handed the DLSU Lady Tennisters a gut-wrenching 5-0 sweep.

On the other court, La Salle’s Dan Mates was first to be fielded in for the Men’s Division. He went up against Thomasian Sebastian Santos, who prevailed over Mates in the first set, 6-1. The first singles match ended favoring the Growling Tigers after Mates trailed behind by four, 6-2. The next match featured the tandem of team captain EJ Geluz and Brysl Libao, who were up against  UST’s Richard Bautista and Vince Serino. The tight first set ended in favor of the Taft-based squad after an impressively steady performance by Geluz and Libao, 7-5. The Geluz-Libao duo’s passion was felt throughout their match as they contributed to the scoring and celebrated their wins. The tandem ultimately conceded to the UST Growling Tigers as Libao could not shake off his pesky cramps, 3-0.

The second singles match featured Nonoy Po against UST’s Ericjay Tangub; the Lasallian fell behind in the first set, 6-2, and was ultimately swept in the second set, 6-0. RJ Virrey and Leyton Portin are the La Salle representatives for the second doubles match against Steven Sonsona and Nash Agustines. The duo could not tame the Growling Tigers as they were slammed in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2. Much like the women’s team, the DLSU Green Tennisters could not contest UST’s commanding presence, with DLSU left scoreless, 5-0.

Cold streak

Following a disappointing loss the previous day, the squad from Taft returned on Sunday for a chance at redemption, this time against the NU Bulldogs. However, the Tennisters suffered another slow start, with Ohye Tortal unable to take a set from Benedict Santiago, who dominated the match with scores of 6-3 and 6-2, respectively. The first doubles match of the day went better for DLSU, but NU’s AJ Alejandre and Gab Bandoquillo still managed to edge the tandem of Portin and Enriquez in a close match with scores of 6-2 and 7-6.

The second singles match of the day saw the most evenly matched opponents, as NU’s Ibarra Ortega and DLSU’s Galuz went tit-for-tat in a three-set slugfest, with the first two sets being split between the two rivals. In the third set, however, Ortega had more left in the tank as he outlasted Galuz, 6-4.

In the doubles match, Libao and Virrey flipped the script as they dominated the reigning champions’ tandem of Angil Balaoing and Vaughn Codilla in just two sets with scores of 6-2 and 6-3, respectively. On the other hand, NU’s Allen Manlangit returned the favor as he trounced Nonoy Po in a 2-0 drubbing with scores of 6-1 and 6-1, concluding the matchup 5-1 for the Bulldogs.

Libao showcased his tenacity as an athlete after recuperating from his sprain in time for the Green Tennister’s game last Sunday, where he and Virrey were the lone tandem that won a match during the weekend games. “It felt really good to be able to bounce back and recover despite having to retire from my match yesterday,” he expressed. Libao revealed that one win against the UST Growling Tigers is not enough, saying, “Although, our win in doubles doesn’t really matter since we lost as a team overall, so we still have a lot to improve on as a team.” 

With La Salle’s current standing in the tournament, the Green Tennisters still manage to keep the faith: “We just focus on our next match ahead and just try to learn what we need to improve on from our past matches. Our motivation right now is to make it to the final four.” Libao alluded that the Green Tennisters will persist and fight to keep the Animo spirit alive in their upcoming matches.

With a current record of 1-4 in UAAP Season 86, the Green Tennisters will look to rebuild and come back stronger for their next matchup, which will take place on February 28 at 7:30 am against the UP Fighting Maroons at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center. Similarly situated with a 1-2 record, the DLSU Lady Tennisters will take on the UST Growling Tigers at 8 am on March 2 at the same venue.

Samantha Vidal

By Samantha Vidal

Julio Amir Tampis

By Julio Amir Tampis

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