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UST sweeps UE to open campaign in style

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Banking on experience, University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Shuttlers kicked off their season with a comprehensive win over University of the East (UE), 5-0.

John Paul Pantig took the first singles match for the Growling Tigers over UE’s Angelo David in two games. The Thomasian veteran displayed his might early against the rookie, mounting an 11-3 run into the break. Pantig powered through and crushed David’s resistance to take the first game, 21–13. It was an easier second game for UST, as Pantig cruised to an even bigger 15–3 advantage. From there, the Tiger closed the match and took the 1–0 tie lead, 21–8.

Rookie Henrick Peralta followed this victory with a drubbing of UE veteran, Arman Manlalangit, in straight games at the following singles pairing. However, unlike the previous match, it was a tighter start, as both players exchanged scoring runs. Peralta then strung three consecutive points and built up from there. UST took the first game, 21–11. Manlalangit showed his veteran smarts at the start of the following game, and led 7–3. The Thomasian newbie, however, found his momentum and unleashed a seven-point run, 15 –10. He then finished the match with the win, 21–16.

In the first doubles match, Pantig paired up with Edgard Reyes to overwhelm Clarence Camacho and King Espiritu. It only took the UST tandem a surprising 17 minutes to dispose of their opponents. The Thomasians unloaded two big runs in the first game to lead by as much as 15, 17–2. Pantig and Reyes took the first frame, 21–6. The Thomasians pulled away in the second game to get to the break, 11–3. UE failed to get something on the board after the break, as UST clinched the opening game victory in style, 21–3.

With the tie already decided, the Red Warriors duo of Manlalangit and Kenneth Cruz tried to salvage their pride in the second doubles match. Nonetheless, John Mark Sotea and Kristian Barrios took the first game for UST, 21–17. The UE pair then unleashed a 5–0 run in the second frame to lead 10–5. Sotea and Barrios kept it close, but Manlalangit and Cruz leveled the match, 21–18. The Recto-based tandem continued their momentum in the deciding frame and went up, 15–12. It was their last hurrah, however, as UST rolled to a huge 9-point run to close the match and deny UE a point on the scoreboard.

Finally, veteran Alcaed Sabanal made it a clean sweep for his team, as he upended Espiritu in two games. Sabanal breezed to an 11–2 lead at the break, and never looked back. Espiritu was able to score, but could not string enough points to even threaten UST. The Tiger clinched the first game, 21–8. The Red Warrior kept the second game close; however, UST took the slim 11–9 gap at the interval. After the ceasefire, Espiritu gained a one-point lead, 13–12. Sabanal powered through the next rallies and ended the match on a 9–4 binge, 21–16.

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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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