Bianca Carlos, the #1 ranked female shuttler in the country, left the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall visibly frustrated last Sunday in their loss against the De La Salle University Lady Shuttlers that forced a tiebreaker match between the Ateneo Lady Shuttlers and the DLSU Lady Shuttlers. This time, Carlos would not allow her team to lose in a back-to-back against their rivals. The Lady Shuttlers from Katipunan would beat DLSU 3-1 to seal the 2nd spot in the UAAP Season 77 Women’s Badminton Tournament.
Women’s Singles Match 1: Patricia Edrika Malibiran (ADMU) def. Danica San Ignacio; 2:0
DLSU 0 – 1 ADMU
Last Sunday, Patricia Malibiran was the opener for the Ateneo while Danica San Ignacio was the same for De La Salle. Malibiran lost to San Ignacio in a match that lasted just 30 minutes. Different day, same match-up. This time however, a more focused Patricia Malibaran would be the one sweeping Danica San Ignacio in straight sets.
After getting her feet loose, and with the score tied 4-all in the opening minutes of the initial set, Patricia Malibiran would blast her way to a quick 11-4 lead by the 11th point break. The game was blown open by Malibiran with San Ignacio never gaining any sort of momentum. Malibiran would breeze through the 1st game 21-10.
The 2nd game was another amazing display of strength by Patricia Malibiran. She would continue to smash every lob set by her opponent throughout the game. San Ignacio would fail to return almost every return of Malibiran. Malibiran would gain vengeance from her regular season loss with another 21-10 victory.
Aggregate Score: Malibiran 42 – San Ignacio 20
Total Match Time: 20 mins
Women’s Singles Match 2: Ma. Bianca Ysabel Carlos (ADMU) def. Monica Arriane Rivera (DLSU); 2:0
DLSU 0 – ADMU 2
Last Sunday, Coach Owen Lopez would match Alyssa Leonardo against Bianca Carlos which resulted to a blow-out by Carlos. This time, it was the lankier Monica Rivera who was designated to face-off against Bianca Carlos.
The line-up adjustment seemed to work in the early goings of the 1st set as the length of Rivera became a problem for Carlos. Rivera would be able to return each drop from Carlos and easily convert them into excellent returns resulting to an early 7-3 lead by the lady shuttler from Taft. Ever the masterful strategist, Carlos was able to adjust mid-game, storming with an amazing 8-point rally to give her an 11-7 lead by the break. Bianca Carlos would continue to control the pace of the entire game in routing Rivera 21-12.
In a masterful display, the MVP-candidate, Carlos, would continue controlling the pace of the 2nd game by beating Rivera at both ends of the court. A series of deceiving pendings, shots that Rivera thought would be smashes but resulted into drop, gave Carlos an imposing 18-7 lead. To cap her performance off, Bianca Carlos would win the match with very low excellent serve, a signature move of hers which delves away from her extremely high service. Carlos wins with a 21-9 score and give ADMU a comfortable 2-0 lead.
Aggregate Score: Carlos 42 – Rivera 21
Total Match Time: 25 mins
Women’s Doubles Match 1: Aires Amor Montilla and Kristelle Dawn Salatan (DLSU) def. Janelle Gloriane De Vera and Dia Nicole Magno (ADMU); 2:1
DLSU 1 – 2 ADMU
The De La Salle Lady Shuttlers would need to sweep all remaining matches to gain a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs. Aires Montilla and Kristelle Salatan were tasked with the job to start the rally. Dia Magno would be paired with Janelle De Vera for the Blue Side in an experiment by Coach Kennie Asuncion.
Hannah Montilla would lead her team to an early 11-5 lead for the La Sallians. An out-of-sync team from the Blue Side would never recover. Both lady shuttlers from Katipunan looked confused in spacing resulting to no returns on defense. The 1st set would result in a 21-12 victory for Aires Montilla and Salatan.
The team of Montilla and Salatan would continue to perform in perfect harmony during the early parts of the 2nd game. The DLSU pair would hold an 11-7 lead by the 11th point break. Janelle De Vera, hungry for her first doubles win for the season, would rally her team back with successful drops to tie the game at 16-all. The match would go into advantage points after being tied at 20-all. The deceivingly quick Dia Magno would bully Salatan with smashes directed to her. Magno and De Vera would take the 2nd game 24-22.
The pace of the 2nd set would take its toll on the Ateneo team in the 3rd set. Again, the pair of Magno and De Vera were out-of-sync, confused as to which quarter of the court they would set in. Montilla and Salatan, on the other hand, displayed perfect court control on defense. The DLSU tandem would take a 11-7 lead before scoring the games final 7 points to give the Lady Shuttlers from Taft a 21-12 win and a chance to steal the series from the defending champions.
Aggregate Score: Montilla and Salatan 64 – De Vera and Magno 48
Total Match Time: 45 mins
Women’s Singles Match 2: Ma. Bianca Ysabel Carlos and Patrisha Edrika Malibiran (ADMU) def. Alyssa Isabel Leonardo and Danica San Ignacio (DLSU); 2:0
DLSU 1 – 3 ADMU (ADMU wins)
Last Sunday’s encounter between the 4 shuttlers saw the tandem of Leonardo and San Ignacio go the distance with the DLSU pairing of San Ignacio and Leonardo coming out on top. Pundits criticized that Carlos and Malibiran were not fit to play doubles, even if they were excellent singles players. Bianca Carlos and Patrisha Malibiran would silence their critics after the match was over.
Bianca Carlos would lead the Atenean pair in the 1st set. She would be a one-woman show in controlling 3/4’s of the court. It was an effective strategy as Carlos would have her way against the DLSU tandem enroute to a quick 21-14 victory for the Ateneo tandem.
The 2nd set saw Patricia Malibiran take the lead. In a back and front formation with Malibiran at the back, Malibiran would smash every lob sent by the DLSU pair. San Ignacio hardly made her presence felt in what would be the deciding set as she would fail to return Malibiran’s smashes. Carlos and Malibiran would seal the series with a 21-17 win.
Aggregate Score: Carlos and Malibiran 42 – Leonardo and San Ignacio 31
Total Match Time: 45 mins
With the win, the defending champions, the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Shuttlers, will be seeded at #2 in the playoffs. De La Salle would have to face the winner of the UST-FEU eliminator tomorrow.