CONTINUING their undefeated run, the Ateneo men’s badminton team notched another win on the second day of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 85 men’s badminton tournament.
The Blue Eagles cruised to a 4-1 team tie against the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers at the Centro Atletico Badminton Hall in Quezon City earlier today to remain unblemished at 2-0.
The first men’s singles match saw co-captain Arthur Salvado Jr. take on DLSU’s James Estrada. Salvado found himself in a back-and-forth battle with Estrada that saw multiple lead changes throughout the game. Salvado would manage to take the first set 21-17 and later reel off thirteen straight points en route to a dominant 21-7 second set win.
Salvado co-captain Brian Bernardo took the court to face DLSU’s Jason Pajarillo in the second men’s singles match. A series of scoring runs and powerful smashes would give Bernardo a 21-10 victory in the first set. DLSU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set, but Bernardo quickly recovered to take a 6-4 lead for Ateneo. It was a back-and-forth contest between the two teams, but the Blue Eagles pulled away late in the set for a 21-15 win.
With the Blue-Whites up 2-0 in the overall team tie, Salvado returned with rookie Learden Laborte in the team’s first match in men’s doubles against DLSU’s Pete Abelana and Blais Linaban. The Katipunan-based pair made quick work of their opponents, winning the first set 21-10. In the following set, Salvado and Laborte would jump out to an early six-point lead on a 7-1 run en route to a 21-15 victory and Ateneo’s overall win.
In the second men’s doubles match, Ateneo’s Bernardo with partner veteran Jacinto Maliwat faced DLSU’s Joshua Morada and Elji Gavil. The Green Archers would jump out to an early lead, 6-3, but Bernardo and Maliwat quickly recovered to tie the match at 9-9. After several scoring runs by their counterparts at Taft, the Blue Eagles dropped the first set 15-21. Despite controlling throughout the match, Bernardo and Maliwat found themselves in a heated battle in the second set as the match was tied at 20-20. The DLSU tandem would eventually escape the second set 22-20.
For the final match of the day, Laborte returned to the court to take on Green Archer Bless Linaban in the third men’s singles match. The Blue Eagle scored eight straight points to take a 15-4 lead, but Linaban responded with a comeback bid to cut the lead to single digits, 17-8 for Ateneo. Laborte would fend off Linaban’s effort to secure the first set, 21-10. The second set saw another comeback attempt from DLSU, but Laborte wasted no time and kept up his aggressive attacks to seal a 21-10 win for the blue-whites.
Team captain Salvado praised his team for their performances over the weekend and is keen to build on their momentum as they set their sights on their upcoming matches against Adamson University (AdU).
“I hope that in the upcoming matches we will not only maintain but improve our games in preparation for bigger and stronger teams,” he shared.
The Blue Eagles will look to continue their winning streak in their next match against the AdU Soaring Falcons on Saturday, November 5 at 8:00 a.m. at the Centro Atletico Badminton Hall in Quezon City.
Team-Even score: Ateneo-DLSU: 4-1
First men’s singles match. Salvado def. Estrada: 21-17, 21-7
Second men’s singles match. Bernardo defender. Pajarillo: 21-10, 21-15
First men’s doubles. Salvado and Laborte defense. Abelana and Linaba: 21-10, 21-15
Second men’s doubles. Morada and Gavil def. Bernardo and Malivat: 15-21, 20-22
Third men’s singles match. Laborte def. Linaban: 21-10, 21-10