The spirit of the rivalry was visible in the stands during the match between the De La Salle Green Shuttlers and the defending UAAP Champions Ateneo de Manila University Blue Shuttlers. In the most thrilling series of the day, ADMU led 2 matches to none going into the doubles matches. The shuttlers from Taft would win both doubles matches to tie the series. In the final singles match for the rivalry, it was Carlos Cayanan dominating Carlos Remo to give the green-side the series win.
Men’s Single Match 1: Justin Natividad (ADMU) def. Gerald Sibayan (DLSU), 2:1
ADMU 1 – 0 DLSU
The opening match for the DLSU-ADMU series pitted Justin Natividad against charismatic and deceivingly athletic Gerald Sibayan. Justin Natividad, brother of #4 ranked Patrick Natividad, started slow for the Blue Shuttlers but would then pick his pace up with a string of excellent returns to gain the lead 12-9 during the first half of the first set. Sibayan would then storm back scoring 4 straight points to gain a solitary point advantage against Natividad. Both shuttlers would then exchange leads until Sibayan would close out the set winning 21 to 16. The second set saw a composed Justin Natividad and a fatigued Gerald Sibayan. Gerald Sibayan was not able to follow-through on a lot of Natividad’s drop shots. Natividad would win the set 21 – 10. On the third and deciding set of the match, Justin Natividad would continue to ride the momentum he gained from the 2nd set, leading by as much as 19-11 before winning the set 21 – 14. This would serve as the start for the things that would follow between Justin Natividad and Gerald Sibayan later on.
Aggregate Score: Natividad 58 – Sibayan 40
Total Match Time: 68 mins.
Men’s Singles Match 2: Patrick Natividad (ADMU) def. John Kenneth Monterubio (DLSU), 2:1
ADMU 2 – 0 DLSU
In an anticipated match-up between ranked players, #4 ranked Patrick Natividad escaped with a win against #25 ranked John Kenneth Monterubio in an 80-minute classic. Patrick Natividad would storm to an early 9-3 lead during the first set but Monterubio would slowly come crawling back to tie the set at 13-all. Not fazed with the comeback, Patrick Natividad displayed composure with graceful drops that Monterubio was not able to return successfully. Patrick Natividad took the first set with a score of 21-17. The second set was as close as the first set. Patrick Natividad would take 17-13 lead mid-way through the set. John Kenneth Monterubio would make a come back scoring 10 of the set’s last 14 points to tie the match up at 1-1 with a score of 18 to 21. Patrick Natividad, during the final set for the match, showed why he was the better conditioned shuttler. With the match breaking the hour-point, the older Natividad, who appeared to have sprained his ankle right after the end of the first set, still managed to dominate the final set of the match. After 80 minutes and 20 shuttlecocks, Patrick Natividad would win the set 21 – 10 and give ADMU a 2 matches to none lead over DLSU.
Aggregate Score: Natividad 60 – Monterubio 48
Total Match Time: 80 mins.
Men’s Doubles Match 1: Carlos Cayanan and Gerald Sibayan (DLSU) def. Carlo Remo and Justin Natividad (ADMU), 2:0
ADMU 2 – 1 DLSU
Gerald Sibayan, a doubles expert from the DLSU-side, was the star of this match-up. Sibayan, who is ranked thrice with 3 different partners in the open men’s doubles division, would make his presence known, not only on-the-court but also in the minds of his opponents to lead the Taft-based tandem to a 2-0 set sweep to give the Green Shuttlers a chance to come back and take the series from the defending champions. During the first set, the tandem of Cayanan and Sibayan worked in perfect harmony to take the set 21 to 15. As the ample crowd cheered on each of the now infamous WA-CHA! celebration of Sibayan, the DLSU crowd would cheer on each Sibayan score while the ADMU crowd would mock each error committed by the flamboyant shuttler. During the second set, every time Justin Natividad would score a point for the Katipunan-based squad, he would shout the same WA-CHA in a playful banter against Sibayan. But for every time this happened during the set, Sibayan would score showing that mind games would not work against him. Gerald Sibayan would put the finishing touches in this match, winning the set 21-16.
Aggregate Score: Remo (18) and Natividad (13) 31 – Cayanan (25) and Sibayan (17) 42
Total Match Time: 30 mins.
Men’s Doubles Match 2: John Kenneth Monterubio and Prince Joshua Monterubio (DLSU) def. Theodore Christopher Co and Patrick Natividad (ADMU), 2:0
ADMU 2 – 2 DLSU
With the series in the balance for the Taft-based squad, the Monterubio brothers would tie the contest with a 2 set sweep against the tandem of Patrick Natividad and Theodore Co to force a crucial final singles match against their rivals. Inspired by the performance of the earlier doubles tandem of Cayanan and Sibayan, the Monterubios would not let an early hole let their will down. The brothers would score on 6 straight points to give them a 15-10 lead enroute to a 21 to 14 1st set win. The 2nd set saw a see-saw affair between both teams, going point-for-point during the mid-way part of the set. The set saw both teams tie the game 7 times with no team gaining an obvious advantage against the other. With the Taft-based brothers tied with the tandem of Co and Natividad at 17-all, Kenneth and Prince Monterubio would score on 4 of the last 5 points of the match, including an empathic smash after a long rally, to tie the series up 2-all.
Aggregate Score: Co (20) and Natividad (12) 32 – J. Monterubio (20) and P. Natividad (22) 42
Total Match Time: 40 mins.
Men’s Singles Match 3: Carlos Cayanan (DLSU) def. Carlo Remo (ADMU), 2:0
ADMU 2 – 3 DLSU (DLSU wins)
In a match that would decide the winner of the series, it was uber-athletic Carlos Cayanan performing well under pressure defeating the higher ranked Carlo Remo in straight sets to give the Green Shuttlers the win in the series. With the entire badminton hall watching the match, Cayanan brought a certain calmness that would be the x-factor that set the course of the entire match. The first set saw a close first half to it with both shuttlers exchanging long-point rallies to exchange leads. After an errant service by Remo, which gave Cayanan his 13th point in the match, Cayanan would score the sets’ 7 of its last 9 points to take the first set with the score of 21 – 13. During the second set, Carlos Cayanan would storm to a huge 9 to 1 lead early on. The higher-ranked Remo would then score a string of 6 points to tie the game up 14-all. Both shuttlers would exchange on long rallies to give the audience a close-scoring contest. With the momentum going to Carlo Remo and the game tied at 18, Carlo Remo would hit an emphatic smash. However, the umpire, who had the better view of where the shuttle cock landed, deemed that the shot was outside. The Ateneo crowd was in disbelief. This turned the tides of the match with Cayanan scoring on a drop shot for the 21st point of the set, giving the DLSU Green Shuttlers an upset win over the defending champions.
Aggregate Score: Remo 31 – Cayanan 42
Total Match Time: 35 mins.
Aggregate Sets Won: ADMU 4 – DLSU 8
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