Paul John Pantig was an anchor sorely missed in the University of Santo Tomas Golden Shuttlers’ sorry loss to the De La Salle University Green Shuttlers last Thursday. Nonetheless, the squad from España had to move on and forward, and needed a win to get its momentum going.
Joed Reyes, Mark Sotea, and the rest of UST did just that as they notched their maiden win of the season, routing the University of the East Red Warriors, 4-1, Saturday morning at the Rizal Memorial Badmiton Hall.
John Paul Yabut made it a perfect two-of-tow so far this season after securing the first singles match at 21-16, 21-13, over Benjamin Silva. The Thomasian obviously took notice of the latter’s impressive showing against CK Clemente of UP last Thursday, to fend off the Red warrior in their own battle. Yabut stifled all runs Silva made to take the outing in just two games.
Cris Sanchez then followed it up to, once more, put UST up 2-0 for the second straight day. The third-year player fended off AJ David, also in two sets at 21-16, 21-15. Sanchez was evidently composed throughout the match, and it was that same hunger that closed the match for him.
Reyes and Sotea were then on board to exorcise Thursday’s ghost and eventually pocket the win for the Tigers.
The seniors from Espana showed their veteran skills and determination to stop AJ Manlalangit and Kenneth Cruz in just two games at 21-13, 21-15. UE had some moments in the match, but just could not keep their groove going to try and steal the win.
With the win in the bag, it was a bonus for UST to have newbies Josh Defensor and Ollin Enriquez pocket a win past David and Clarence Camacho at a similar 21-13, 21-15 score line. Kristian Barrios also made a good account of himself in his singles debut for UST, expecially in the huge 21-7 second-set win, but Manlalangit took one for the East at 22-20 in the first and 21-12 in the third.
The Golden Shuttlers (1-1) will look to carry the momentum when they face title-contenders University of the Philippines (1-1) on Sunday, September 24, at 8am. On the other hand, the Red Warriors (0-2) will try to break their slump as they face the also-winless Adamson University Soaring Falcons (0-2) on the same day and time.