UNIVERSITY of the East topped Ateneo, 4-1, to annex its first-ever men’s championship appearance in the UAAP Season 79 lawn tennis tournament on Wednesday.
Rookie AJ Lim and Joshua Kinaadman emerged victorious in singles play while the pairs of Dolfo Barquin and Paolo Baran and Rogelio Estano and RJ Saga also won in doubles action to help the Red Warriors chalk up their seventh win in eight ties at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
It was a big bounce back victory for UE after its perfect run was snapped via a narrow 2-3 loss to defending four-time champion National University.
In other men’s ties, University of Santo Tomas solidified its hold of second place with a 4-1 win over University of the Philippines, while De La Salle bested NU, 3-2, to muddle the standings.
The Growling Tigers improved to 5-2 to stay ahead of the 4-4 Green Archers.
The Bulldogs are on the brink of ending their reign with their fourth loss in seven ties.
In women’s play, reigning titlist NU barely escaped UST with a 3-2 win to extend its perfect run to six.
As sisters Christine and Clarice Patrimonio were at their usual best in singles play, the Lady Bulldogs needed a huge win from their doubles players Ana Bienes and Junnelyn Polito to repulse the hard-fighting Tigresses in a preview of the finals.
With the win, NU is two wins away from clinching a twice-to-beat advantage in the championship around against UST. The Tigresses dropped at 5-2.
De La Salle beat UP, 3-2, for its first win after opening the season with five consecutive defeats.