The University Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses dominated the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws in straight sets, 21-17, 21-9, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s beach volleyball finals at the SM Sands by the Bay in Pasay City on Saturday.
Tigresses Cherry Ann Rondina and Jem Nicole Gutierrez beat Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza in the first set, 21-17. The UST duo did not look back and finished off their foes, 21-9.
“We had the advantage since we waited in the finals. It was a big help that the players have rested. Their opponents both in men’s and women’s played earlier so we really had the advantage,” said UST head coach Paul Jan Doloiras.
Doloiras emphasized that mental toughness is important for his players. “Tomorrow’s game would be good one since the FEU Lady Tamaraws can still recover since no one had cramps. We will stick to our plan since it is still effective. As long as we win using our game plan, we’ll continue it. Mental toughness is important because Rondina has a new partner, unlike FEU who has been playing together for three years.”
The Lady Tamaraws survived defending champions De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Archers in the do-or-die match, 21-17, 21-15. The Lady Archers erased the twice-to-beat advantage of FEU on Friday, 21-16, 19-21, 15-21.
In the men’s finals, the Tiger Spikers Kris Roy Guzman and Anthony Arbasto ignited a 7-0 run to pull away from Tamaraws Jude Garcia and Jeremiah Barrica, 13-5. The UST tandem closed the first set, 21-13.
The Tigers and the Tamaraws went on a nip-and-tuck battle in the opening of the second set. However, Barrica’s right leg started to experience cramps, halting FEU’s momentum. Guzman and Arbasto then dispatched the Tamaraws, 21-11.
“FEU played three games yesterday, then today, it was their third game as they faced us. We expected that to happen because we had the same experience for the last three years. We were like that and we pitied ourselves so we really double time on our training to avoid such instance,” Doloiras added.
The Tamaraws crawled their way to the finals as they vanished the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons twice-to-beat advantage.
FEU overpowered UP on their first meeting in the semifinals, 22-20, 21-18. Garcia and Barrica then sustained the winning momentum to eliminate Fighting Maroons Alfred Valbuena and Wendel Miguel from the playoffs, 22-20, 18-21, 16-14.
They also outclassed third seed National University (NU) Bulldogs on Friday, 21-19, 20-22, 15-10.