The University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons notched a 3-1 victory against the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Lady Eagles in Game 3 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s badminton finals at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall in Malate, Manila on Saturday.
Lady Eagle Maria Bianca Ysabel Carlos drew the first blood against Paola Beatriz Bernardo, 21-16, 21-19.
Gelita Castilo bounced back for UP in the second doubles match. The Lady Maroon snatched the first set from Samantha Louise Ramos who committed several net and outside errors, 21-14.
Castilo took a six-point lead in the next set, 11-5. However, Ramos landed two consecutive drop shots to cut UP’s lead to two, 16-14. The Lady Eagle hit a quick smash to tie the match at 20-all.
The Lady Maroon tied the matches at 1-all after Ramos committed a fault, 24-22.
UP’s duo of Malvinne Ann Venice Alcala and Jessie Francisco sustained the winning momentum in the first doubles match as they finished off Ramos and Patricia Edri ka Malibiran in straight sets, 21-15, 21-17.
“Well, the feeling is great because of our three-peat. We’re very happy. I told them that we have to defend our title for the school and we completed our three-peat,” said UP head coach Tosi Alcasid.
Carlos and Joella Geva de Vera kept the hopes alive for Ateneo as they took away the first set from Castilo and Eleanor Christine Inlayo, 21-23.
Castilo and Inlayo retaliated in the next two sets, completing a come-from-behind victory as Inlayo concluded with a down-the-line smash, 21-12, 21-12.
“I’m still happy with the silver finish. Though we regret that we didn’t get the gold but they fought with all they’ve got, with heart and soul. Maybe it’s not yet time,” said Ateneo head coach Kennie Asuncion-Robles.
In Game 2 of the men’s finals, the National University (NU) Bulldogs dispatched the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 3-0, to clinch their fourth championship in five years.
Frell Keeyan Gabuelo edged past Carlo Glenn Remo in the first singles match, 21-18, 21-17.
NU’s Ros Leenard Pedrosa did not look back and trounced Enrico Keoni Asuncion, 21-13, 21-9.
In the first doubles match, Mike Minuluan and Alem Palmares survived Ateneo’s duo Hanz Christian Bernardo and Emilio Mangubat Jr. in straight sets, 21-17, 21-19.
The UP Fighting Maroons and De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Archers finished third in the men’s and women’s divisions, respectively.
NU’s Pedrosa and UP’s Alcala received their Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, while Ateneo’s Asuncion and Chanelle Lunod were recognized as the Rookies of the Year.