Philippine Badminton Club of America
In the championship round, which is a relay match format of up to 180 points, Vipers took the lead up to 40 points with Dragons behind at 34 points, after Gillian Bachinela and Chris Lopez widened the lead by giving Marivic Austria and Ynna Hughes of Dragons 5 points only. Then Dragons caught up and got pass Vipers at 50-46 when Yuko Houston and Jason Cua scored 16 points. This was not, however, to last long as Vipers Team Captain Titan Balandra and Ketel Galang regained the lead by scoring 15 points against Dragons Team Captain Anton Jarata and Melanie Tabili, resulting in a score of 90-88 for Vipers.
The newly-elected officers of the Philippine Badminton Club of America taking their oath of office during the Luau-themed Induction and Charging of Officers ceremonies held on June 28. (From left: Paul Boy, Hart Amante, Ynna Hughes, Marvin Solidum, Mabel Villanueva, Ranier Ratonel, Grace Bachinela, Allan Grimares, Jazzy Ogbac-not pictured)
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could not risk getting tied with Dragons, else they will lose under the “win-over-the-other” rule in case of a double tie. Vipers, on the other hand, needed only 5 points to tie with Dragons at 26 points and eliminate it, as Vipers won against Dragons in round 2.
The last round was a test of true grit as each team fought under extreme pressure to reach its objective. The matches between Thunders’ Jim Moreno/Joseph Bandeleon and Vipers’ Titan Balandra/Kit Laurel in men’s doubles B/D and between Vipers’ Peter Mendoza/Angie Ortiz and Thunders’ Kristian Rodriguez/Anna Flores in mixed doubles B were the most bitterly fought in that round as both ended in three intense games, with the third game in both matches concluding at 14-15 after long and hard fought rallies. Vipers won in the men's doubles, while Thunders won in the mixed doubles.
Then there was the last match between Vipers’ Ranier Ratonel/Roseanne McDuffie and Thunders’ Rey Parino/Maya Thona in mixed doubles C which would decide the fate of Dragons, Warriors and Thunders for the championship round. At that point, Warriors already secured 26 points, Thunders 25, and Vipers 27. If Vipers wins the match, Dragons is assured of going into the championship round since having won against Warriors in round 3, it is ranked higher than Warriors under the “win-over-the-other” rule. But if Vipers loses, Thunders will get 26 points resulting in a triple tie with Dragons and Warriors. Vipers, on the other hand, already has a secure place in the championship round since it will still be ahead of the three teams at 27 points.
Seeing the still uncertain situation, Dragons team captain Anton Jarata rallied his team mates to cheer for Vipers while the hopeful Warriors rooted for Thunders.