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Ateneo gains Final Four slot in Adamson rout



Needing a win and a UST loss, the rebuilding Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles completed phase one as they obliterated the Adamson University Soaring Falcons, 5-0, early Saturday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall in Manila City.

Lanky shuttler, Clarence Filart, started the blistering rout in the first singles match as he faced Kevin Fabros. Filart quickly blasted a 13-5 lead that eventually led to a 21-12 first set win. The second set was no different, as the Atenean’s lead quickly jumped from a 7-5 lead to a huge 14-5 hole for Fabros. The court-savvy of Filart proved to be the difference, as he took the second set, 21-9.

National team member, Jan Mangubat, and Gerloth Delizo figured in a back-and-forth tilt in the second singles match. The Adamsonian was able to gain a jumpstart in the early goings of the opening set by gaining a 6-2 advantage, but was quickly shut down by six straight points for an 8-6, Mangubat lead. After a 10-all deadlock, the two shuttlers went toe-to-toe, as the two exchanged points for another tie at 16-all. Unfortunately for Delizo, Mangubat gained the momentum as he was able to convert on excellent returns and take advantage of the few miscues of Delizo to take t first set, 21-17. The second set was a barn-burner, as the two shuttlers could neither maintain their leads, nor gain enough momentum for most of the set. The set had 11 deadlocks, with the last being at 16-all. The National team player though was able to muster enough strength to string together five-straight points to gain the set 21-16.

With Ateneo needing just one win to clinch a final four berth, upstart Jan Sinfuego and, Philippine team member, Hanz Bernardo were able to stave-off the Adamson pair of Delizo and Elben Concha. The Adamson pair were able to get the lead during the first set 11-7 by the break. Then, Bernardo and Sinfuego powered the Blue Eagles back by working in perfect synchrony to eventually tie the game at 17-all. Moreover, errors by the Adamson squad and successful backhand returns by Sinfuego gave the Ateneo pair a 21-18 first set win. In the second set, Delizo and Concha devised a strategy to send the shuttlecock on the way to Sinfuego. It proved successful at first as, again, the shuttlers from San Marcelino to an early 11-7 lead. Bernardo brought Ateneo back by taking charge of quick push shots to tie the game once more. Errors proved to be the doom for Adamson, while two excellent kills by Bernardo gave the game and the tie for Ateneo, 21-18.

In the seconds doubles match, Patrick Gecosala and Anton Vargas blew out Joshua Antonio and Aldrin Paclibar in two sets. The Ateneo shuttlers were on a different plane compared to their opponents as the Ateneo shuttlers defeated their opponents, 21-8, 21-12.

Ateneo Team Captain, Carlo Remo put on the finishing touches in a one-sided victory over Joshua Antonio. In the first set, Remo held a 9-2 lead to start the contest. After an exchange of points, the Ateneo captain closed out the shuttler from San Marcelino, 21-10. In the second set, Antonio was able to gain a 6-2 but a game-breaking 16-1 rally coming from errors and successful returns gave the Atenean an 18-7 lead. The lead was insurmountable with Remo winning the set 21-9 and sweep the Adamson Soaring Falcons.