Age-old rivals Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University set up their showdown in the UAAP Season 82 Women’s Badminton Tournament, Wednesday at the Centro Atletico Badminton Center.
Reigning champions Lady Eagles needed just three matches to stop the National University and secure their second straight championship appearance.
Last year’s co-Most Valuable Players Chanelle Lunod and Geva De Vera shook off the challenge of Gwen Desacola and Jeya Pinlac in the lone doubles match, 21-18, 21-16, to take the win.
Lunod earlier flexed her muscles in a two-set conquest of rookie Kate Amigable, 21-7, 21-17, to open the sweep. Ateneo’s own newbie Mika De Guzman then made short work of NU captain Jiselle Capillo, 21-14, 21-5, for the 2-0 advantage.
“So far, so good,” Ateneo head coach Kennie Asuncion said on the team’s performance so far. “We just have to stay grounded and focused because it is not yet over.”
Their arch-rivals and UAAP Season 80 queens Lady Shuttlers likewise punched their ticket to the Finals after taking revenge on the University of the Philippines, 3-1.
Rookie Palma Cruz and Shaynne Boloron once again clinched the win for La Salle, crushing Andrea Abalos and Marie Lopez, 21-10, 21-9, in the second doubles match.
Skipper Iyah Sevilla earlier put La Salle in the lead at 2-1 after taking her two outings for the day. The national team standout first turned back Jaja Andres, 21-11, 22-24, 21-11, in the opening singles rubber. She then got the first doubles match with Kanna Baba, 21-9, 21-2 over Andre’s and Tricia Opon.
UP rookie Aldreen Concepcion remained unperturbed in singles matches with a 21-16, 14-21, 21-13 decision over Mia Manguilimotan in the second singles match.
Sevilla shared, “Yung start namin medyo shaky. Pero bago kami pumasok nung weekend, nagkaroon kami ng session with sports psychologist.”
“It was the turning point. It served as a wake-up call,” the fifth-year Lasallian continued.
The first tie of the best-of-three Finals series between Ateneo and La Salle is scheduled on Friday, October 4 at the same Quezon City venue. UP and NU dispute the third place in a playoff tie on the same day.