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Tiebreaker Times


Bernardo, Blue Eagles outlast Green Shuttlers for solo third

In a crucial battle for the semifinal berths, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles passed through another hurdle, edging out archrivals De La Salle University Green Shuttlers, 3-2, Sunday morning at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.

Ateneo is now at the third of the standings after defeating the Green Shuttlers in a deciding match, with a 3-2 win-loss record.

As expected, Ateneo Jan Mangubat and Anton Cayanan fought toe-to-toe in the opening singles match. However, errors for the fifth-year La Sallian just made it easier for the former to get the games at the crucial points. The Blue Shuttler took advantage of these miscues to win the match, 21-16, 21-17.

The second singles player of Ateneo, Clarence Filart, however, was not at his peak performance, conceding the victory to La Salle’s Kenneth Monterubio, 16-21, 17-21. The other Green and White senior capitalized on some of the errors of the Loyola-based skipper to carve out the straight-set win.

Hanz Bernardo and Mangubat restored Ateneo’s lead with a gritty win over Cayanan and Jerickson Obaob in the first doubles match. The Taft duo nosed out the opponents in the opening game at 21-19 after some costly mistakes on the latter’s part in the tailend of the game. Nevertheless, the two junior national team standouts rescued the Blue and White and dominated the next two, 21-13, 21-15.

Filart absorbed a second loss in the second doubles, together with his partner, Sean Chan. The Ateneans failed to communicate inside the court and eventually losing to the Monterubio brothers, Kenneth and Joshua, 13-21, 18-21. They tried to keep in step in the second game, but the DLSU pair just needed a point to close it out as Joshua eventually sealed the match and forced a deciding singles match.

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Bernardo wasted no time and showed his caliber in the final singles match. The second-year Ateneo upstart overpowered Andrew Pineda in two 21-17 games. His La Salle counterpart and batchmate had some moments in the match, but Bernardo made it count where it mattered most.

The sophomore from Loyola attempted a drop, which Pineda saved. However, the shot turned out to be Bernardo’s setup for a down-the-line finish in an unguarded spot for the last point.

The Blue Eagles (3-2) will play the winless Adamson University (0-5) for shot at the an automatic semifinal berth. On their part, the Green Shuttlers (2-3) try to stay alive in the Final Four race when they battle it out with the University of the East (1-4). Both ties will be on Wednesday, September 28, 9am at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.

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