Two storylines marked the latest victory of the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles in UAAP women’s badminton.
Last year’s runners-up halted the magical run of the National University Lady Bulldogs after winning the tie at 4-1, Sunday morning at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.
Cassie Lim put the Lady Eagles on top after fending off Mitzi Joy Pantoja in the first singles match. The fourth-year standout leaned on her power game and made full use of her length, as she finished off the rallies and clinched the win at 21-17, 21-15.
Queen Eagle Bianca Carlos then doubled the advantage for the Katipunan side after taking care of her toughest opponent in the UAAP this year, and perhaps to date: Thea Pomar in the second singles match. The perfect record of the fifth-year phenom was in danger after some risks in the second game cost her the set at 18-21. Nonetheless, with masterful finishes in the first and the third sets — 21-13 and 21-12, respectively — was enough to preserve her own personal streak.
With just a few minutes of rest, the graduating senior combined with fellow fifth-year player Trixie Malibiran to close out the tie for the Ateneo. The two former UAAP champions made short work of Kezziah Cuilao and Jhayvin Dizon in just two games of similar 21-10 score lines.
Last year’s top rookie Chanelle Lunod and Geva De Vera then made it four straight, taking down Pomar and Jiselle Capillo in three games, 21-19, 17-21, 21-18, in the second doubles match.
However, the bigger plot was the lone loss for the Ateneo girls.
Second-year player Samantha Ramos was battling Jiselle Capillo in the final singles match, with the tie already in the bag for the Blue White. Trailing at 19-15, the third-year Atenean tried to go for a strong push shot, but landed awkwardly after apparently twisting her right limb.
This was eventually confirmed by coach Kennie Asuncion. She shared, “It looked like she twisted something. We’re not sure if it was the right knee of what, but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves before the official result.”
The Lady Eagles (2-0) will go to battle with the in-form Adamson University Lady Falcons (2-1) on Friday, September 29 at 1pm, likely without Ramos. On the other hand, the Lady Bulldogs (2-1) will get a hand on the same squad on the following day, September 30, also at 1pm.
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