UAAP Team Preview: DLSU Lady Shuttlers
Published on September 18th, 2015 | by Arnold Cagang
“Sana matuto sila from last season.” -Coach Owen Lopez
The past season for the Lady Shuttlers had been rough. They fcludished fourth from what could have been a great performance after the elimination round, forcing Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) in a playoff for second seed next to the University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons but eventually lost in the playoff match.
University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Far Easter University (FEU) then fought for the last play-off spot to face third seed La Salle. FEU won against UST in a tight 3-2 knockout game. La Salle then faced FEU in the first stepladder semis match in which the winner will face and battle the second seed and twice to beat Ateneo.
FEU had a quick advantage early in the match winning both Singles matches at the expense of Danica San Ignacio and Alyssa Leonardo, now with their backs against the wall, one of the league’s best tandem, first Doubles Kristelle Salatan and Aires Montilla did quick work of FEU to keep La Salle alive. Another doubles match, La Salle’s Alyssa Leonardo and Danica San Ignacio teamed up and avenged their respective Singles match losses to tie the game 2-2. Now on to the last one, the “Anchor” they call, the final Singles and the decision match, Aires Montilla bowed down to FEU’s Tudtud and ended their season on a sad note.
Ateneo then defeated the threatening FEU Lady Tamaraws to set the final dance against top seed UP Lady Maroons in the UAAP Season 77 Women’s Badminton Finals. UP went on to win and dethrone the Ateneo Lady Shuttlers whom La Salle faced in the Season 76 Finals.
DLSU Lady Shuttler, Kristelle Salatan recalled last season’s performance as a tough and heartbreaking one, failing to reach their goal which was the top three, “last year was tough and heartbreaking for us. We anticipated that we would once again be in the Top 3 and yet we failed to do that”.
Including last years’ key losses were Danica Pelegrino and Danica San Ignacio. Pelegrino already graduated in college (AB-SPM) and chose to forego her last playing year with La Salle. Meanwhile, San Ignacio had already consumed all her playing years with the Green & White.
“Last season was memorable. Madaming ups and downs yung team, but despite ng mga pagsubok mas naging solid yung paniniwala ng team sa isat-isa na kaya pa.” the former team captain said.
“I’m so super proud to be part of the Lasallian community kasi dream school ko talaga ang DLSU. Playing for La Salle for 4 years ay walang katulad.” Teary-eyed Danica added.
Message to her teammates: “Team, tandaan nyo to. May chance pang bumawi and lumaban. Okay lang sumuka, wag lang susuko. Hanggat di pa patay ang bola kaya pang pumuntos. Hanggat kaya pa lumaban ipag laban niyo para sa pangarap ng team na makuha ang championship. Tiwala sa sarili at sa isa’t isa. Laban lang ng laban hanggat kaya pang lumaban. Goodluck teammates! Go for Gold! Animo!”
With the two seniors out, there will be a new leader, a new captain. Kristelle Salatan who is now on her fourth playing year shared some of her insights on being the new captain and their goals as a team upcoming season 78.
“I had doubts from the time I was chosen the team captain, for me, it is like bragging rights, sarap tawaging team captain but as time passes by na-realize ko na hindi ito pansarili kundi isang responsibilidad. Now being the new captain, unang nasa isip ko talaga is yung team.”
“Basically our goal is to be part of the Top three again, bounce back and finish strong” says the team captain. The team captain also mentioned that they lacked unity from last season, their teammates were not on each other’s backs in critical moments but assures that it won’t happen this season.
“Last season kasi, when our teammate needed our help, like for example yung down na down na kasi matatalo na and all, pinabayaan namin. But this year, as the team captain, hindi ako papayag na mangyari yun. Support pa din hanggang sa dulo ng laro.”
Mentioning what they need to improve from last season, Coach Owen Lopez thinks that the lack of consistency from his players and not having pure Singles Players were their missing pieces, “Ang target lang talaga namin is maging consistent magmula sa umpisa hanggang sa huli kasi napansin lang namin minsan malakas sa umpisa tapos pagdating sa huli nawawalan kami so yun lang. Yun yung lagi kong sinasabi sa team ko, maging consistent lang and nagkulang talaga kami sa Single players,” the coach citing their breakdown from last season.
But now, with the new season upcoming, Lopez shared his thoughts about recruitments and how they will fill their voids upcoming season, “Actually ngayon, marami na talagang team na yung nagrerecruit. Syempre bawat team talaga yan may mga malakas, syempre may mga recruit din yun. So ngayon, malaking tulong sa amin yung pumasok namin na mga bago (rookies), galing sa Jr. National Team. I hope makatulong yun this coming UAAP.”
When asked about the chance of winning the Championship this season, “Kaya namin but kailangan talaga paghirapan at kailangan nandoon yung drive namin manalo. And of course, dapat di mawala yung teamwork and support sa isa’t isa manalo man o matalo.” –Kristelle Salatan
“Actually both teams naman eh, kaya naman nila at syempre kami naman coaches, expectations naman namin is laging mataas. Ang sa amin lang baka sa sobrang taas yung team namin di makaperform dahil sa pressure. Ang sinasabi ko sa kanila is one game at a time.” –Coach Owen Lopez
Coach Owen Lopez believes that exposure will be a big factor this coming UAAP Season……, “Actually yung preparation namin is yung sumali kami nang tournament namin, yung PNG, FPG, yun yung mga sinalihan namin para exposure and at the same time ma-build yung confidence ng bawat isa.”
“With just a few days left till the opening of the Badminton tournament on September 19, the Lady Shuttlers are more than ready and will be all business this coming #UAAP78. The team will banner an 8-man lineup, composed of four rookies and four stay-ins. They will face Rivals Ateneo Shuttlers to open their UAAP Season 78 campaign at 2:30pm. Games will be held at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Court.
The team is composed of seniors Kristelle Salatan, Aires Montilla, Alyssa Leonardo, Sophomore Arianne Rivera, Rookies Mariyah Sevilla, Airah Albo, Macy Salvado, and Lindsay Tercias.