Photo by Jillian Velasco

A pressure-packed semis match up saw the Maroon Smashers square-off against the top-seeded National University (NU) but failed to close the tight match, 2-3, while the Lady Shuttlers succumbed to ranked two De La Salle University (DLSU), 1-3, in the UAAP Season 82 badminton tournament, October 2, at Centro Atletico.

With the Maroon Samshers leading the team-tie standing at 2-1, the duo of Vinci Manuel and Jason Vanzuela almost erased NU’s twice-to-beat advantage and forced game two against Bulldogs Keeyan Gabuelo and Solomon Padiz Jr. after mounting a six-point lead in the third set, 16-10.

However, costly errors from the Manuel-Vanzuela tandem helped the NU Shuttlers stand at striking distance and establish an 11-1 run to eventually grab the third set, 17-21, equalizing the team-tie at 2-2.

Emotions ran high as Michael Clemente face NU’s Estarco Bacalso for the third and deciding singles. Clemente faltered as offensive errors piled leading to Bacalso’s commanding finish, 16-21, 10-21, ending the Maroons’ two-year finals appearance.

It was team captain JM Bernardo who steered State U’s two wins as he dealt with Gabuelo in three sets in the first singles, 13-21, 22-20, 21-16, before pairing with Harvey Tungul for the first doubles to contain NU’s James Villarante and Julius Villabrille in another three-setter match, 21-17, 13-21, 21-10.

Despite falling short of their season 82 goal for a gold, Bernardo still applauds the Maroons’ season-long performance and looks forward to a shot for a bronze finish.

“Maganda naman pinerform namin eh, talagang siguro mas naglevel-up lang sila… Sinabi sa amin [ng coaches] na kalimutan na namin yung kanina, focus na lang kami [sa Friday] kasi pwede pa rin kami mag third place,” he said.

Likewise, the Lady Maroons mirrored the same defeat as they eventually conceded to the DLSU Lady Shuttlers after four matches, 1-3. 

Rookie Aldreen Concepcion was spotless in her singles record as she scored the lone win of the UP Lady Shuttlers against Mia Manguilimotan in a thriller, 21-16, 14-21, 21-13. Jaja Andres almost feathered out prized player Iyah Sevilla, but eventually collapsed in three sets, 11-21, 24-22, 11-21.

However, the green and white overpowered the Lady Maroons in all doubles matches. Andres and Tricia Opon was limited by DLSU’s Sevilla and Kanna Baba in single-digit scores in only 21 minutes of play, 9-21, 2-21. 

Similarly, Maria Lopez and Andrea Abalos was no match for DLSU’s Shaynne Boloron and Palma Cruz as the latter swept the former, 10-21, 9-21. 

A podium finish is still possible for the UP Badminton Varsity Team as they battle for third on Friday, October 4 at Centro Atletico, against DLSU and NU in the men’s and women’s division, respectively. 


Subscribe now to our newsletter

By checking this box, you confirm that you have read and are agreeing to our terms of use regarding the storage of the data submitted through this form.

%d bloggers like this: