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State U secures semis berth at Ateneo’s expense


The University of the Philippines men’s badminton team is one step closer to redemption.

Last year’s third-placers stunned the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, taking the latter down at 3-2, and in the process, clinched another postseason appearance, Sunday morning at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.

In a battle of young cogs, it was UP’s JM Bernardo who emerged victorious over Keoni Asuncion in the first singles match. The Maroon blasted last year’s top rookie at 21-11 in the first game, before coming from behind in that 21-17 second set win.

Ateneo skipper Carlo Remo then leveled the tie after taking care of the opposition’s co-captain Vinci Manuel. The long-time Blue and White standout had a relatively easy first set at 21-15, but had to shake off Manuel in the second at 21-19.

Nonetheless, the Maroons pairs were ready to close it out.

Bernardo and captain CK Clemente continued their solid performance from last Saturday, and took care of Asuncion and Remo in the first doubles match. UP breezed past the first game at 21-12 and looked to get the second set as well before Ateneo knotted the score at 19-all.

A series of exchanges of game points happened before Remo and Asuncion took the upperhand at 23-22. A powerful push from the Ateneo captain sailed long and was initially called out, before the umpire overruled it and gave the point and the game to the Eagles.

The third set went the distance as well, but as fate would have it, Remo’s shot this time clearly went out and the Maroons won it at 25-23.

#ReadMore  Thirdy Ravena nails dagger as Ateneo Blue Eagles advance to PCCL Finals

With the advantage and the chance to clinch the match, Paul Gonzales and Betong Pineda wasted no time to subdue Patrick Gecosala and Clarence Filart in two sets, 21-13, 21-15, and to seal another postseason apperance for the Fighting Maroons.

Filart closed the tie for Ateneo with a win over Clemente at 21-18, 21-13, but nothing can deny that the day belongs to the the latter’s squad.

“Sobrang intense, sobrang ganda, sobrang clutch nung performance namin today. Lahat gustong maka-abot sa Finals” the UP team skipper summarized the tie. However, he and the rest of the Maroons know that the last qualifying round tie on Thursday is just as important.

He said, “Importante na makuha namin yung panalo, para may advantage na kami. Hindi na yung aabot pa ng ladder match, kasi marami pang pwede mangyari.”

That crucial final assignment will be against the De La Salle University Green Shuttlers (3-2) on Thursday, October 5 at 8am. The Blue Eagles, also at 3-2, willl look to deny the University of Santo Tomas Golden Shuttlers (2-3) a chance to complicate the semis picture in their own tussle on the same day and time.

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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