The ATENEO Men’s Badminton Team began its campaign in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 85 Men’s Badminton Tournament with a 4-1 victory over the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers.
The first day of the tournament was held at the Centro Atletico Badminton Hall in Quezon City earlier today. A strong showing from a mix of veterans and rookies puts the Blue Eagles to a 1-0 win-loss record.
Team captain Arthur Salvado Jr. took the court to face UST’s Kyle Basilio in the first men’s singles match and recorded the team’s first win in straight sets. The veteran made it easy for his opponent in the first set, winning 21-13. Despite a back-and-forth match in the second set, Salvado scored eight straight points to pull away, 21-16.
In the second men’s singles match, novice Learden Laborte took on UST’s Hardun Sarmiento. The Growling Tigers jumped out to an early lead, but Laborte quickly recovered and pulled away to win the first set 21-8. A flurry of errors in the end by Sarmiento allowed Laborte to take advantage and easily take the second set, 21-9.
Justin Vanzuela and rookie Charles Bagasbas squared off in the men’s first doubles match of the day against UST’s RJ Galve and JJ Panisales, putting the overall win at stake. After a series of counterattacks by both teams, Galway and Panisales led 11-18. Although Ateneo’s Vanzuela and Bagasbas cut the deficit to four, the UST tandem would hold on to win the first set 21-16. In the second set, the Katipunan pair couldn’t stop their opponent’s scoring run, dropping five straight points to UST late in the game and bowing out 15-21.
Salvado and Laborte then returned to the court to face Aaron Sarmiento and Lantz Ramirez in men’s second doubles. Coupled with multiple breakdowns and scoring rallies, the Blue Eagles outscored UST 21-12 to take the first set. Despite falling behind early in the 2nd set, the Ateneo tandem quickly recovered to tie the match at 9-9. After two more ties at 12-12 and 17-17, Salvado and Laborte escaped a hot second set 21-17 to secure the overall win for the Blue Eagles.
In the final match of the day, Brian Bernardo squared off against Lennox Culliao in the third match of the men’s singles. Multiple errors by the Blue and White allowed UST to win the first set 21-13. Ateneo’s Bernardo then jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second set and never looked back, winning easily 21-12. Despite two early errors in the third set, Bernardo rallied to win 21-13 for the team’s fourth win.
The Blue Eagles look to build on their momentum in their next game against De La Salle University on Sunday, Oct. 30.
Team-tie score: Ateneo-UST: 4-1
First men’s singles match. Salvado def. Basilio: 21-13, 21-16
Second men’s singles match. Laborte def. H. Sarmiento: 21-8, 21-9
First men’s doubles. Galve and Panisales Def. Bagasbas and Vanzuela: 16-21, 15-21
Second men’s doubles. Salvado and Laborte defense. A. Sarmiento and Ramirez: 21-12, 21,17
Third men’s singles match. Bernardo def. Culiao: 13-21, 21-12, 21-13