The University of Santo Tomas Lady Shuttler took its season opener in the UAAP Season 79 Women’s Badminton tournament against University of the East Lady Warriors, 3-2, but lost a key piece on their campaign due to injury, Saturday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.
In the second singles match, at the start of the deciding game, senior Sugar Vizmonte felt something on her left knee and could not recover. She eventually received medical attention and had to forfeit the match. The medical team who checked on the injury declined to comment on what happened. Vizmonte had just recovered from an ACL injury a year ago.
The match was consequently given in UE’s favor.
Airish Macalino made short work of Lyra Rosal in straight sets in the opening singles match as the latter succumbed to errors. UST started strong in both games of the match. It was enough for Macalino to take the first singles match at 21-9 21-12.
In the first doubles match, Macalino took her second win of the day, tagging along team captain Steffi Aquino. After figuring out in early tussle in the first frame, the UST pair racked up 11 unanswered points to walk away with the win.
Macalino and Aquino duplicated such scoring spree in the second frame, en route to a 2-1 tie advantage.
Sisters Heide and Lyra Rosal took the better of Ann Pimentel and Kristine Gaspar and took the first game at a tight 21-17 scoreline. It was UST’s turn in the following frame as they nosed out the former, 21-19.
UE then took the deciding game with a romp in its middle portion on either sides of the interval to level the match, 21-12 in the third.
UST skipper Aquino who stepped up for the downed Tigresses as she took the deciding singles and, eventually, the tie in dominant fashion.
The fifth-year UST captain used well-placed shots that outsmarted Ericka Labay to easily take the win in two games, 21-11 21-8.