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Tiebreaker Times


Bianca Carlos, Ateneo blast NU to books semis date with La Salle

In their rematch for a place in the semifinals, it was the deeper Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles that emerged victorious against the National University Lady Bulldogs.

The Loyola-based squad needed strong determination to stop their opponents in four matches, thereby sealing their place in the semifinals, Sunday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.

With an interesting head-to-head match up of players, the tie did not disappoint.

Badminton phenom Bianca Carlos started the day off for the Lady Eagles with a swift work of Mitzi Pantoja in the first singles match.

The NU junior tried to keep in step with some smart shots, but the fifth-year Ateneo stalwart’s overall court control and coverage was just impeccable. Carlos took the match at 21-10, 21-12.

Taking her senior’s cue, Ateneo captain Cassie Lim stunned Thea Pomar and took the first set at 21-15. The senior lady from Loyola used her length to cover the court and her power to end the rallies.

Nonetheless, Pomar showed why she is a national team player in the succeeding sets. It was a strong finish for the new Lady Bulldog in the second set at 21-14, and she used it to open the decider on a high. Despite Lim’s efforts to come back, the Nationalian ended the set and leveled the match at 21-17.

Ateneo reclaimed the lead, which they never relinquished, after winning the first doubles match. Kezziah Cuilao and Jhayvin Dizon stuck to Geva De Vera and Trixie like a glue in the opening set, before two consecutive faults gave the Lady Eagles the set at 22-20.

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The Katipunan duo were in full control of the match from there on and bamboozled the graduating Cuilao and her partner in the second set at 21-9.

It was now in the hands of Carlos and usual cohort Chanelle Lunod to send the Blue and White back to the semifinals.

Carlos admitted it was not easy to go up against Pomar and Jiselle Capillo, but shared that prior to their second doubles match, the plan was “[to] have that focus. Nag-mindset kami na makakuha kami one point at a time. Yun lang naka-focus sa min.”

Working well in the first set, the Lady Eagles managed to get past their opponents and bagged the frame at 21-18. National U then leveled the match in the second set, after needing to fend off an Ateneo comeback.

The third set turned to a battle of wits, as both pairs showed some signs of fatigue. Nonetheless, with the mindset and game plan that Carlos shared, the last year’s runners-up pulled through and emerged victorious in the end at 22-20.

The Lady Eagles find themselves at a similar situation as the past years and will face the De La Salle Lady Shuttlersar in the semifinals on Friday, the 13th of October, at 1pm. The latter carry the twice-to-beat advantage.

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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