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Ateneo overpowers FEU, takes second win

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The Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles bounced back from Wednesday’s defeat and routed Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 4–1, Saturday morning at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.

It was FEU who drew first blood in the battle as Josh Maquelabit stunned Ateneo team captain Clarence Filart in three games in the opening singles match. Filart started the match with a 6–4 lead before the two players exchanged scoring runs. Maquelabit nosed out his opponent to lead 11–10 at the interval. After the break, the Blue Shuttler mounted a four-point blast to regain the advantage, which he used to finish off the game, 21–14. In the following game, the Ateneo veteran continued his momentum but the long-time Tamaraw kept it close. In stark contrast to the previous game, Maquelabit slowly piled points off Filart’s errors and his own well-placed shots to clinch the game, 21–17. Josh asserted his might in the deciding set and mounted a huge 11–3 lead into the court change. Filart attempted to overhaul the deficit; nonetheless, it was too huge as Maquelabit won, 21–11.

That turned out to be the Tamaraws’ last charge as Ateneo wrapped up the last four matches. In the second singles, Carlo Remo leveled the tie with a straight games victory over Justine Tercias. The second-year Atenean emerged from a tight start in the first game to lead 11–8 at the interval. From there, Remo strung a bunch of scoring runs to subdue Tercias and took the game, 21–12. It was a similar story in the following game, as Remo also had the similar three-point lead at the break. The Blue Shuttler never looked back as he closed the game and the match, 21–13.

Hanz Bernardo and Fides Bagasbas wrestled the lead for the Katipunan-based squad when they upended Maquelabit and Rafael Dionisio in the first doubles. The long-time FEU duo took the early lead at the first game, but a 5–0 run by Bagasbas and Bernardo put them ahead, 11–9 at the break. The Ateneo duo then unleashed another scoring run that the Tamaraws tried and failed to overcome as the Blue and White won, 21–19. The first-game winners continued their strong start in the following frame, held off their counterparts, and clinched the match, 21–19.

In the second doubles, Anton Vargas and Jan Sinfuego doubled the lead for the Blue Eagles with another straight games victory over Tercias and Jade Sarmiento. The first game was tight before Vargas and Sinfuego nosed out the FEU tandem at the break. That small lead at the interval proved crucial enough as the Ateneans took the game, 21–18. In the following game, the Blue Eagles punished the several miscues of their opponents with several smashes. Vargas and Sinfuego finished Tercias and Sarmiento, 21–9.

Jan Mangubat completed the rout for his team after pulling through in the final singles in three games over Dionisio. Ateneo bucked a tight start in the opening frame before easily winning it at 21–13. Dionisio continued his little flashes of brilliance into the second game and led 14–8. Mangubat tried to keep in step and cut into the FEU lead, but Dionisio would not be denied of the forcing a decider, 21–18. In the final frame, both duos exchanged points before Mangubat take it to the court change. From there, Manngubat slowly crept into the match point, 20–16. Dionisio saved two of them, before the Atenean plucked the win 21–18.

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Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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