UAAP: Green Tennisters lose fifth seed in nailbiting series against UP to end Round One

After enduring a heartbreaking loss during last weekend’s games, the Green Tennisters could not turn the tide and suffered a close loss at the hands of the fifth-ranked UP Fighting Maroons, 3-2, earlier today, February 28, at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.

Woefully outplayed

The Green Tennisters, who opened up the day’s matchups in the Men’s Singles Division, were keen on beating the UP Fighting Maroons to improve their current standing. Opening the game was team captain EJ Geluz, who went up against UP’s Andrei Jarat. Despite La Salle holding a comfortable three-point lead, UP’s Jarat was able to catch up and ultimately snatched the first set, 7-6. Geluz built more confidence in the succeeding sets, which led him to successfully gain mastery over Jarat, scoring 6-4 and 6-2, respectively.

DLSU’s Ohye Tortal was the next to showcase his abilities on the court. Despite his effort and persistence, Tortal could not power through against UP’s Loucas Fernandez, as he had to endure a painful 6-0 sweep for both sets. To close off the match, Nonoy Po battled Zire Mina of the Fighting Maroons but struggled to hold out and extend the first set, 6-3. The next set saw a familiar outing as Po could not pick up the pace, resulting in a 6-1 loss conceding to the Fighting Maroons.

Finding the right chemistry

The first doubles match started with the duo of Enzo Enriquez and Leyton Portin; they both played together over the weekend and showed their newfound chemistry in their match against UP’s Karl Miguel and Jonas Silva. The Enriquez-Portin pairing managed to hold onto the small gap in the first set. Eventually, they succumbed to the pressure UP was giving, 7-5, and ultimately lost the second set and eventually the match, 6-2.

In the next doubles match, Green Tennisters Brys Libao and RJ Virrey found their competitive counterpart in UP’s Hakim Baloto and Allen Rombawa. The Libao-Virrey duo grabbed an early lead to start the first set as they showed off their chemistry and offensive prowess in collecting points against the Fighting Maroons. However, worries were raised as UP looked like they wanted to vie for a comeback, but Libao and Virrey shut down anxieties as they won two straight to win the first set, 6-3. During the second set, Libao and Virrey continued forcing errors and keeping their shots precise to win the match commandingly, 6-2.

After the match, team captain Geluz shared his thoughts on the team’s performance in the first round and detailed what they must change going into the next round: “Siguro we need to practice pa talaga kasi kulang sa practice compared sa ibang teams, …and yung mental toughness namin kailangan mapractice din yon.”

(I think we just need more practice because we lack practice compared to other teams. We also need to practice our mental toughness.)

After this loss, the DLSU Green Tennisters ended Round One of the Men’s Tennis Tournament with a 1-5 record as they await their fate in the second round, looking to continue to fight for a spot in the Final Four.

Daniel Quiroga

By Daniel Quiroga

Samantha Vidal

By Samantha Vidal

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