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Undermanned Lady Eagles pull rag off Lady Tams

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Entering the court, still undermanned due to the injury of Trixie Malibiran, the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles stunned the FEU Lady Tamaraws, as they quickly thundered en route to a 3-2 win, Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.

Seemingly motivated by their situation, the Ateneans stunned the crowd as they seamlessly won the day with three consecutive match victories. ADMU’s first victory came through the hands of Cassie Lim, who despite losing 15-21 to FEU’s Thea Pomar in the first set, struck back hard in the subsequent sets. Lim would prove to be the better shuttler as she edged out Polmar in a late game start to win the match 21-19 and 21-17 for the second and third set, respectively.

Lim’s effort would be replicated by a tensed Bianca Carlos who would edge out FEU’s Michal Duquilla in two sets. However, the former Rookie Most Valuable Player shook off the jitters and poured on against Duquilla. The clearly outpowered senior Lady Tamaraw would fall after a thunderous sweep by Carlos as numerous strikes that ultimately forced her to surrender the match 21-9, 21-15.

Rookie Geva De Vera and veteran Janel Dihiansan took advantage of the momentum and finished off the tie in the first doubles. The Lady Blue Shuttlers dispatched the favorites Hannah Tudtud and Pomar in just 31 minutes. De Vera and Dihiansan took the advantage into the first game interval, and romped to 10–3 run to take the first game at 21–10. Ateneo led again at the second game break and never looked back to close the match, and took the victory from last year’s runners-up, 21–9.

In the second doubles Duquilla and veteran Maridel Rivera took one back for the Lady Tamaraws against the tandem of Carlos and Lim. Despite trailing at the middle portion of the opening frame, FEU pulled through and took the win, 21–19. In the following game, Ateneo again led after the interval, and this time, held off Rivera and Duquilla to level the match, 19–21. The deciding game also had a tight start, but it was FEU who led 18 –16 after the interval. After Ateneo tied the game at 18, the two pairs exchanged points. Finally, after two muffed chances to end the match, Duquilla and Rivera won it, 23–21.

Tudtud made sure she would not be blanked for the day when she upended Samantha Santos in two straight games. The FEU sophomore turned a tight 12–7 advantage into a rout and closed out the first game, 21–12. It was a similar affair in the following game, only this time, Santos kept it close. In the end, Tudtud had the final say and clinched the game and the match, 21–18.

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