Opening the second week with back-to-back losses, the Maroon Smashers and Lady Shuttlers are back in their winning ways as they secured their respective semis spot in the UAAP Season 82 badminton tournament.
The Maroon Smashers finished the elimination round at 4th spot with a 3-3 record, while the 4-2 Lady Shuttlers ranks third after six games.
No match for finals rematch
The Maroon Smashers returned to the losing column after a 1-4 blowout from the defending champions and finals rival National University (NU), September 24, at Centro Atletico.
Team Captain JM Bernardo carried the pride of the Maroons as he notched the lone win of UP after handing the then-undefeated Keeyan Gabuelo his first singles loss in his UAAP career, 17-21, 21-17, 21-13.
However, Michael Clemente and Kyle Legaspi dropped their respective singles matches to powerhouse NU Shuttlers with a 17-21, 13-21 and 9-21, 18-21 scorecard, respectively. UP tandems Bernardo and Harvey Tungul, and Vinci Manuel and Jason Vanzuela also bowed down to top-notch NU duos.
Likewise, the Lady Shuttlers tainted their unblemished record as they failed to exact revenge against their finals rival Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), 1-4.
Rookie Aldreen Concepcion remained perfect with her singles record as she nailed the lone win of UP at the expense of fellow ADMU rookie Mike De Guzman, 26-24, 18-21, 26-24.
The ADMU Lady Shuttlers sweeped the UP Lady Shuttlers in the remaining singles and doubles matches.
The Maroon Smashers sank to 2-3 win-loss card after suffering their second defeat in a row, courtesy of ADMU, with the team-tie standing at 2-3, September 28 at Camp Crame.
Bernardo opened the supposed to be bounce-back game of UP as he racked Eagle Fides Bagasbas in three sets, 16-21, 21-18, 21-16, before pairing-up with Tungul to sweep NU tandem of Geno Cariño and Bagasbas, 21-17, 21-19.
However, ADMU clinched their spot in the final four after routing Justin Tercias, Clemente, and Manuel-Clemente duo to nail three wins.
The UP Lady Shuttlers mirrored the same defeat of the men’s team after suffering a blowout from the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Shuttlers, 1-4.
Concepcion delivered for Maroons’ only win after sweeping DLSU’s Mia Manguilimotan, 21-18, 20-14.
The winning momentum did not translate to the succeeding matches as Concepcion and Tricia Opon dropped the first doubles to Archers Iyah Sevilla and Kana Baba, 11-21, 11-21.
Luck was not on the side of the Lady Shuttlers as the green and white salvaged Janelle Andres and Airish Macalino in the first and third singles, and Andrea Abalos and Maria Lopez in the second doubles.
Despite suffering back-to-back defeats, the Maroon Smashers and Lady Shuttlers booked their ticket to the semifinals after maintaining a tight hold on their matches against the gritty Adamson University (AdU), 3-2.
The Maroon Smashers’ final four hopes dwindle after suffering a 2-2 team-tie, not long before Clemente rallied the Maroons to victory in an adrenaline three-setter match against the fiery Falcon Kevin Fabros, 21-16, 20-22, 21-15.
Early in the game, Bernardo disposed Aldous Mercardo in a flash, 21-6, 21-11 to assure UP’s first win, before pairing with Tungul to overpower AdU’s duo David Linaban and Mercado, 21-3, 21-11.
Likewise, the Lady Shuttlers flexed their experience as they outlast the AdU Lady Shuttlers in the deciding match, 3-2.
Concepcion’s single record stays flawless as she salvaged Lizette Cueva, 21-8, 21-13, while Macalino made quick work of Janine Ignacio, 21-9, 21-7, to send the UP Lady Shuttlers in the final four for the seventh consecutive season.