UNIVERSITY of the East (UE) and University of Santo Tomas (UST) begin their best-of-three championship series for the UAAP Season 79 men’s lawn tennis crown today.
The opening tie is scheduled at 8 a.m. at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center, with the Red Warriors favored as the heavy favorites to claim their breakthrough title against the Growling Tigers.
With rookie AJ Lim sensational all-season long, UE finished the double-round eliminations winning nine of 10 ties.
UST closed out the second round with a 3-2 win over deposed champion National University (NU) in a make-up for an earlier abandoned second round tie last Wednesday for a 7-3 record.
There will be a new champion, as the Bulldogs ended an unbeatable four-year reign after finishing fifth place, the worst since the Bustillos-based netters started their participation in the 2011-2012 season.
Winners of league-best 12 championships, the Tigers last ruled the 2010-2011 season, when the team was then handled by coach Karl Santamaria.
In the women’s division, twice-to-beat NU goes for the jugular against UST at 8 a.m. tomorrow at the same Malate venue.
The 8-0 Lady Bulldogs, powered by sisters Clarice and Christine Patrimonio, need only to beat the 6-2 Tigresses once to extend their reign to four seasons.
Winning 23 consecutive ties which dates back from Feb. 2015, the NU lady tennisters hold one of the current longest winning streaks in the UAAP, as it matches Ateneo men’s volleyball’s 23-match run.
NU’s women’s basketball has a 48-game winning streak, going undefeated in three seasons.