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La Salle gives UST double whammy with come-from-behind win



Undefeated Nicole Albo and the De La Salle University Lady Shuttlers eked out huge comeback win against the University of Santo Tomas, 3–2, to grab their second straight win, Saturday afternoon at the Rizal Badminton Hall.

Patricia Barredo of UST stepped on to the court to face a familiar foe in DLSU’s Alyssa Leonardo. The Thomasian veteran took advantage of the situation: it being the La Sallian’s first singles match since last year’s UAAP, to take the match in straight games. The former national team player from UST bucked a sluggish start to lead 11–9 at the break of the first game. A series of miscues from Leonardo and a flurry of attacks from herself powered Barredo to a 21 –13 first frame win. The DLSU veteran again managed to keep the game tight in the following game before Barredo unleashed a 7–0. Leonardo did not give up and challenged her counterpart by cutting the deficit to 1, 18–19. Barredo put on the finishing touches and took the game and the 1–0 lead in the tie, 21–18.

Trailing by a match, national juniors player Iya Sevilla showed her might against another Thomasian veteran Steffie Aquino to level the tie in the following singles match. The rookie wasted no time as she took advantage of misfiring Aquino early in the first game to slowly pile up the points en route to a 21–12 win. The UST senior got her bearings and kept the succeeding frame close up to the interval. From there, Sevilla took over and denied UST the advantage, 21–16.

With the tie leveled at one match apiece, it is the experienced duo of La Sallians Kristelle Salatan and Leonardo who wrestled the tie advantage over UST’s Kristine Gaspar and Victoria Vizmonte in the first doubles match. The Thomasians engaged their opponents to a tight battle at the first game, before Salatan and Leonardo nosed them out into the interval. With excellent play and transition, DLSU clinched the game, 21–14. Using this momentum, the Taft-based pair started with a 3–0 run in the following frame. Gaspar and Vizmonte momentarily took the lead after four unanswered points, which turned out be their last hurrah as the La Sallians clinched the game and the match, 21–7, to wrestle the 2–1 lead in the tie.

As Salatan and Leonardo proved in the previous doubles match, Barredo and Aquino confirmed that it pays to have the perfect chemistry in doubles to win a match. The long-time UST tandem leveled the tie against the veteran-and-rookie pair of Aires Montilla and Sevilla in two games. The Thomasians led after a tussle in the opening part of the first game to lead at the interval, 11–8. After the break, however, DLSU forced UST to another tight battle before the latter ended the game with two straight points off the Aquino service, 21–16. The Tigresses seized momentum in the following frame that gave them a comfortable lead. The Lady Shuttlers from Taft were able to trade points with their opponents, but could not string up a couple. Thus, UST forced a deciding game with a 21–17 match-winning score line.

Similar to what happened to their men’s tie with UP earlier that morning, Airish Macalino and UST faced a tough task facing a national team player in DLSU’s Nicole Albo in the final singles match. The Thomasian took the challenge at least in the opening part of the first game and led Albo, 7–3. The La Salle rookie had other plans as she slowly crept in to the lead, cut it off, and eventually taking it at the break. To her credit, Macalino tried to keep it close against her counterpart, but a four-point blast from Albo sealed the deal for La Salle in the first frame, 21–18. The newcomer then zapped Macalino’s confidence in the following frame early and never looked back. A huge 7–0 in the middle part of the game virtually gave Albo and the second-running Lady Shuttlers the win and UST’s second demise of the day. DLSU won the game, the match, and the tie, 21–7.


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