Ateneo lady shuttlers inch closer to back-to-back titles
MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo de Manila University moved closer to securing a second straight women's championship following a 3-1 victory over De La Salle University in the Finals opener of the UAAP Season 76 badminton tournament over the weekend at the Jumpsmash Badminton Center in Quezon City.
Newcomer Bianca Carlos and last season's top rookie Jana de Vera clinched the tie for the Lady Eagles with a 21-16, 16-21, 21-18 win over the Lady Archers' Angelic Ramos and Danica Bolos in the second doubles.
Unbeaten in eight matches, Ateneo could book a perfect season with another victory today (Wednesday) in Game 2 slated at 1 p.m. in the same venue. The Lady Eagles hold a tremendous thrice-to-beat incentive in the title round.
Reigning men's titlist National University, meanwhile, dealt Ateneo its first loss of the tournament with a 3-2 squeaker in Game 1 of the men’s Finals.
Roslee Pedrosa delivered the clincher for the Bulldogs, hacking out a 17-21, 21-14, 21-19 win over the Eagles' Clarence Filart in the deciding singles.
Ateneo, which also holds a thrice-to-beat incentive, seeks to rebound in Game 2 slated at 9 a.m. also today.
Patricia Malibiran drew first blood for the Lady Eagles with a 21-18, 21-19 victory over Danica San Ignacio in the opening singles, while Carlos routed Bolos, 21-8, 21-9, in the second singles.
De La Salle's only win came from in first doubles wity Alyssa Leonardo and Aires Montilla beating Malibiran and Magno, 21-12, 21-19.
NU took the early lead after reigning MVP Joper Escueta downed Patrick Natividad, 21-18, 21-19, in the first singles and Ateneo rebounded with Justin Natividad beating Aries delos Santos, 21-11, 21-14, in the second singles, and the duo of Patrick Natividad and Bryan Garrido defeating Pedrosa and Philip Francisco, 21-11, 21-11.
The Bulldogs forced a decider with Escueta and Delos Santos hammering out a 21-15, 21-19 triumph over Justin Natividad and Theodore Co in the second singles.