Reeling from tough losses in the tournament, the University of Santo Tomas Golden Shuttlers got a much-needed victory to keep themselves in the hunt for a semifinals berth.
The España-based side made short work of the Adamson University Soaring Falcons, 5-0, to claim their second win of the season, Sunday morning at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.
Cris Sanchez opened the rout having to fend off the challenge of Adamson’s main man Kevin Fabros in the first singles match. Two tight games were shared between the protagonists as the Thomasian clinched the first at 21-17, before the Falcon leveled the contest at 21-19 in the second. Nonetheless, Sanchez was unstoppable in that deciding set, taking it a breeze at 21-5.
That was the closest Adamson could get, as the Golden Shuttlers growled with clean sweeps in the succeeding matches.
John Paul Yabut carved out a 21-13, 21-19 win over Elben Concha in the second singles match to put the Golden Shuttlers in the lead further at 2-0.
Seniors Joed Reyes and John Mark Sotea then secured the morale-boosting win after the first doubles match, taking care of Concha and Joshua Antonio, likewise in straight sets at 21-14, 21-19
Newbies Russel Enriquez and Josh Defensor once more clinched a win for UST; this time downing Fabros and Johnrick Macabenta at 26-24, 21-17. Reyes ten completed the sweep over Macabenta at 14-21, 24-22, 21-14.
Watching on the sidelines, team captain Kristian Barrios was impressed of his squad’s showing. “Sobrang ganda ng laro nila kanina. Nakita yung performance ng mga lalaki, sobrang solid. Sana ganun yung mapakita naman sa next game namin para may chance pa kami sa Final Four.”
For the double specialist, UST just needed to shook of one thing in order to perform at its best in their final qualifying round assignment against the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles. “Sa ‘kin lang, kaya namin lahat; wala kaming kulang. Yung key lang is dapat hindi kami ma-intimidate sa kalaban namin. Hindi dapat kami ma-intimidate para maganda ‘yung laro namin.”
That “no fear” attitude is very much needed as the Golden Shuttlers (2-3) will try to force a playoff for a semis berth on Thursday, October 5 against Ateneo (3-2). On their part, the Soaring Falcons closed their season with a 0-6 record.