CHERRY Rondina and Jem Gutierrez put University of Santo Tomas on the cusp of making it to the women’s Finals with a 21-9, 21-13 victory over Adamson University’s Jema Galanza and Bernadette Flora late Monday in the UAAP Season 79 beach volleyball tournament at the Sands SM By The Bay.
The Tigresses, who won the championship behind Rondina and RJ Rivera in 2014, stretch their perfect run to six games.
UST shoots for an automatic entry in the best-of-three title series with a victory against FEU in the final day of eliminations on Friday.
The Growling Tigers are also on a win away from clinching an outright championship berth in the mens’ division, as KR Guzman and Anthony Arbasto improved to 6-0 with a 21-12, 21-17 romp of Rence Melgar and John Philip Yude of the Falcons.
UST will advance in the best-of-three Finals if it prevails over the Tamaraws on Friday.
The Lady Tamaraws joined the Tigresses in the semifinals as Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza overwhelmed National University’s Aiko Urdas and Roma Doromal, 21-6, 21-16, for a 5-1 slate in second place.
Ateneo’s Michelle Morente and Kim Gequillana overcame University of the Philippines’ Diana Carlos and Arielle Estrañero, 21-16, 14-21, 15-12, to move closer in nailing a semis berth with its fourth win in six matches.
Defending champion De La Salle, behind reigning MVP Kim Fajardo and Tin Tiamzon, made quick work of University of the East’s Judith Abil and Angelica Dacaymat, 21-15, 21-11, to keep its semifinals hopes alive.
The Lady Spikers joined the skidding Lady Maroons in fourth spot with a 3-3 card.
NU’s Bryan Bagunas and Fauzi Ismail overcame a second set loss to beat FEU’s Jude Garcia and Richard Solis, 21-12, 18-21, 15-7, and tie their victims and UP from second to fourth places at 4-2.
The Fighting Maroons ended the Blue Eagles reign as Alfred Valbuena and Wendel Miguel outlasted Marck Espejo and Ish Polvorosa, 21-17, 21-17. Ateneo remains in sixth spot with a 2-4 card.