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Airish Macalino pushes UP Lady Maroons to UAAP Women’s Badminton semis


The University of the Philippines needed a trusted hand in Airish Macalino to stifle the Adamson University and book another UAAP Season 82 Women’s Badminton postseason ticket in dramatic fashion, 3-2, Sunday at the PNP Sports Center Badminton Courts.

Macalino — who is playing in her final UAAP year — made sure to make it count. She shattered rookie Janine San Ignacio in straight sets, 21-9, 21-7 in the deciding singles match.

“Siguro andun lang yung trust namin sa isa’t isa. Siyempre, UP kami, hindi naman kami basta-basta magpapatalo,” Macalino said.

Arden Concepcion remains unscathed in singles play after making short work of Lizette Dela Cueva to level the tie, 21-8, 21-13. Co-captains Tricia Opon and Jaja Andres then put the Lady Maroons in the lead, 2-1, after a 21-11, 16-21, 21-7 win over Jhay Anne Macabenta and Dela Cueva.

Adamson forced the decider after Clydel Pada took both her outings for the day. She first defeated Andres in the first singles match, 21-18, 19-21, 21-14; then teamed up with Monica Magallanes to outlast Pauline Santos and Rasmine Carlos, 21-13, 13-21, 21-17, in the second doubles contest.

Meanwhil, defending champions Ateneo de Manila University completed an elimination sweep, routing the University of Santo Tomas, 4-1.

Last year’s co-Most Valuable Players Geva De Vera and Chanelle Lunod clinched the Lady Eagles’ sixth consecutive win of the season after sweeping Kristeen Geronimo and Stephanie Mortera, 21-16, 21-17.

Mika De Guzman and Bea Felizardo snared the first two singles matches for Ateneo to go up to 2-0. De Guzman waylaid Elij Peña, 21-9, 21-12, before Felizardo crushed Mortera, 21-13, 21-9.

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Geia De Vera and Sam Ramos made it 4-0 in a swift conquest of Alexandra Aguilar and Peña, 21-10, 21-10. Geronimo then took one for UST with a stunning upset of Geva De Vera, 11-21, 22-20, 21-15, in the last singles match.

The De La Salle University secured the other twice-to-beat advantage after stopping National University, 3-1.

Rookies Palma Cruz and Shaynne Boloran bagged the win after sweeping Kate Amigable and Gwen Desacola, 23-21, 21-14 in the second doubles match.

Fellow rookie Mia Manguilimotan opened the day with a 21-17, 21-15 sweep of Jiselle Capillo. Captain Iyah Sevilla and Kanna Baba then survived the marathon match for La Salle over Capillo and Sarah Barredo, 22-24, 21-16, 25-23.

Barredo snared the lone win for the Lady Bulldogs off 21-14, 21-16 conquest of Sevilla.

With the results, Ateneo, who will hold the playoff incentive, will face NU in the semis. Meanwhile, the twice-to-beat-armed La Salle will take on UP. The Final Four begins on Wednesday at Centro Atletico Badminton Court in Quezon City.

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