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UST drags Ateneo to three-way tie, nabs Final Four slot

After a dismal 1-3 win-loss record to start the season, the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Shuttlers needed to regroup.

And that one-day break did its wonders.

Taking down the Adamson University Soaring Falcons last Sunday, the Thomasians carved the same demolition at 5-0 against last year’s finalists Ateneo de Manila University, Thursday morning at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.

Team captain Paolo Barrios noted one thing that the Tigers needed to overcome — getting intimidated by the opponents. However, against Ateneo, none of such thing was perceived.

Joed Reyes started the day for UST after taking down fellow long-time standout Carlo Remo. After absorbing a tough 19-21 loss in the first game, the Thomasian senior romped the next two at 21-14, 21-19.

Cris Sanchez increased the advantage for the Tigers after making short work of Clarence Filart. The third-year player glided through the match, getting the 2-0 lead for his team at 21-11, 21-17.

Remo and last year’s top rookie Keoni Asuncion bagged the first set for Ateneo in the first doubles match at 23-21. Nonetheless, it was the seniors Reyes and Mark Sotea who took the match at 21-16, 21-19.

The win just forced a triple tie at 3-3, and with the succeeding results even sent the Thomasians into the Final Four outright.

Barrios and Juan Miguel Santiago made it four-of-four with a rout of Filart and Miguel Paña at 21-12, 25-23. Afterwards, John Paul Yabut stopped Asuncion at 12-21, 22-20, 21-19.

After forcing a three-way tie in third place, the Tiger Shuttlers clinched the number three seed with superior quotient over the Blue Eagles and the De La Salle University Green Shuttlers.

#ReadMore  PHP 2.7M-worth trophy awarded to Blue Eagles by ECJ

With that, the Ateneo squad will take on arch-rival La Salle on Saturday, October 7 at 8am, for the number four seed and a place in the Final Four.

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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