ATENEO de Manila University retained the baseball crown in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines following an authoritative 8-3 victory over archrival De La Salle University on Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Blue Eagles completed a two-game sweep of the Green Archers whom they faced for the first time in a UAAP baseball finals.
“Their championship composure came out. They stayed focused,” said a jubilant Ateneo coach Randy Dizer, whose wards committed only two errors.
Andy Tan, the hero in Ateneo’s 10-8 10-inning Game One victory, was named season Most Valuable Player and Best Pitcher, while Miguel Dumlao, who threw six scoreless innings, was awarded the Rookie of the Year trophy.
Adamson University, meanwhile, moved closer to a fourth-consecutive perfect softball season by routing National University (NU), 11-3, in six innings in the Finals opener also at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Lady Falcons, who extended their unbeaten run to 47 games, seemed to struggle early in the match until Clariz Palma belted a grand slam homer at the bottom sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie.
Seeking a 13th crown overall, Adamson University shoots for its 13th league crown in Game Two on Friday.
Palma also had five RBIs, while Analie Benjamen scored a homerun in the second inning and had three RBIs for the Lady Falcons, who drew two strikeouts from reigning MVP Rizza Bernardino and Julie Muyco.
The Blue Eagles were impressive in the fourth inning, belting four runs behind Matt Laurel, Adrianne Bernardo and Dio Remollo for a 6-0 lead.
A homerun by Carlos Munoz sparked De La Salle’s three-run seventh inning but it was too late to bail the Taft-based batters out of trouble in the seventh frame.
Laurel, who bagged the Most Homeruns, Best Slugger and Most Stolen Bases awards, had two runs and two RBIs to lead the way for the Blue Batters. Only Kevin Ramos is graduating for Ateneo, which only lost last season’s top rookie Miguel Salud.
In volleyball at the Arena in San Juan City, Adamson University and Far Eastern University, each toting 6-8 records after the eliminations, will be disputing the last women’s semifinals berth at 4 p.m.
The winner of the Adamson-FEU playoff will face third-ranked Ateneo in the first stepladder match.
Adamson and De La Salle square off for the last Final Four berth in men’s volleyball at 2 p.m., the winner taking on defending champion NU next week.