The National University Lady Bulldogs personified the saying “fall down twice but get back up three times” as they won another match against the De La Salle University Lady Tennisters with a score of 4-1 today at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
The Lady Bulldogs had one blemish in their clean slate, after season 77 MVP Clarice Patrimonio bowed down to DLSU’s Marinel Rudas in a tight match during the first singles of the game. Rudas controlled the first set, after getting a 3-0 run. Patrimonio bounced back in the second set, and eventually took the momentum during the start of the third set. However, it was not enough, as Rudas came back and ended the game with a score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
After the first singles event, everything went downhill for the Taft-based squad as the Lady Bulldogs took the succeeding games. Starting off the victory was Jzah Canja, who forcefully attacked Ana Atangan of DLSU inside the court, 6-3, 6-1. In the last singles event, it was an easy win for veteran Christine Patrimonio, as she showed Janina Luis how things are done on the court, resulting in an impressive 6-0, 6-1 score.
The doubles matches were also in favor of the Sampaloc-based squad, as the Espinosa-Polito tandem broke down their opponents 6-0 in the first set. However, the DLSU partners tried their luck in the second set, making it a tight match tied at 3-all, but NU answered back and snatched the victory, 6-4. The second doubles match was also ended quickly by Zaza Paulino and Goldie Nagret, who struck hard in both sets to win, 6-2, 6-2.
It was a game that will be truly remembered by both teams. For DLSU, it had been a big win for one person, but for NU, it was a lesson to get back and improve more for their next games.
For DLSU head coach Ronald Kraut, there were mixed emotions, as he had expected a lot in his players, “We had a good start because our number one beat their number one, it was a very very big win for us, it started with something but unfortunately, we fell short in the next games,” Kraut said. He then added, “It was a big win, but not for the team.”
On the other hand, NU head coach Karl Santamaria is still glad that his girls played well despite the loss of Patrimonio. He mentioned that it hadn’t affected him much, knowing that she had fought well during the game and would improve in the ones to come. Santamaria warned that the Lady Bulldogs should not rest on their laurels as defending champions, because Season 78 is a whole new story. “We have to play better, yung mas may sense of urgency, because we can’t be defensive, we are not the champions anymore, there are no extra points if you are the defending champions, just like them, we start from zero again,” Santamaria said.