Letran bags NCAA 92 Seniors and Juniors badminton titles

OAPA September 21, 2016


The Letran shuttlers copped both the NCAA Season 92 Seniors and Juniors badminton championship last September 14 at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall, earning the Colegio its first two titles this season.

It was not an easy Finals for Letran, with both the Knights and Squires needing three sets before overcoming Lyceum and La Salle Greenhills, respectively.

Letran’s Melvin Sarao lost to Francis Ramos (7 – 21, 12- 21) in the first match, but the sibling duo of Nathaniel and Nepthali Pineda quickly tied the match with an easy win over Renbert Gustillo and John Carolino (21 – 12, 21 – 13).

After two close games against Lyceum’s Alex Climaco (19 – 21, 21 – 19), eventual MVP Mark Sabarre went on a rampage with a 13 – 5 run before ending the game, 21 – 12, with a resounding smash and the title.

With the College of St. Benilde (who was tied with Letran, 2 – 1, after the second round) winning over San Beda that same day, 3 – 0, the Knights were immediately declared the champions.

A win by San Beda would’ve forced a finals showdown against Letran, who lost to the former in the second round.

It was the Knights’ second championship, winning it first in Season 90, then reclaiming it from the College of Saint Benilde who won last year.

“Admittedly, we had a hard time with adjustment (because we had a new coach),” said captain Nat Pineda. “But we talked things over and we focused on our goal – the championship.”

The Squires, on the other hand, dethroned La Salle Greenhills and halted its quest for a five-peat.

Letran’s Christian Tortoles was named Juniors MVP.

Coach Antonio Mance, who also brought success to National University before transferring to Letran (he took over Rod Murillo), was awarded Best Coach.

“They played well and I’m contented with that. I always remind them to play their game, be humble, and play for the glory and honor of God,” Mance said in an interview*.

Other members of the Seniors team are Leo Orsolino and John-Fitzgerald Cruz, both of whom were part of the Colegio’s last championship.

Joining Tortoles in the Juniors are Kyles Corcuera, Lance Ilagan, Mark Lacson, Bless Linaban, and Mark Velasco.

The assistant coaches of the team are Pamela Solomon and Jezzalyn Lingat.

*Manila Times