UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas (UST) clinched semifinals slots in the women’s and men’s divisions after beating their respective foes in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 79 beach volleyball tournament at the Sands SM By The Bay.
Cherry Rondina and Jem Gutierrez of the Tigresses downed Roma Doromal and Aiko Urdas of National University, 21-18, 21-16, to extend their perfect run to five games.
KR Guzman and Anthony Arbasto also kept the Growling Tigers unbeaten in five matches following a 21-15, 21-14 decision over Bryan Bagunas and Fauzi Ismail of the Bulldogs.
The women’s and men’s squads of UST are also on track for an outright passage in the best-of-three championship series, as they need to win their last two matches to complete a seven-game sweep of the elimination round.
Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza of Far Eastern University moved closer in advancing to the Final Four, continuing its rise from a season-opening loss to defending champion De La Salle University with a 21-16, 21-8 rout of Diana Carlos and Arielle Estrañero of University of the Philippines.
The Lady Tamaraws improved to 4-1, while the Lady Maroons have lost two straight after a 3-0 start.
La Salle, with reigning Most Valuable Player Kim Fajardo taking over from Desiree Cheng to pair with Tin Tiamzon, bested Adamson University’s Jema Galanza and Bernadette Flora, 22-24, 21-16, 15-13, while Ateneo’s Michelle Morente and Kim Gequillana beat University of the East’s Judith Abil and Angelica Dacaymat, 21-13, 21-10.
La Salle and Ateneo tied UP at third with 3-2.
The Tamaraws also rose to 4-1 in men’s play as Jude Garcia and Richard Solis defeated Alfred Balbuena and Wendel Miguel of the Fighting Maroons, 21-18, 21-16.
UP rebounded later in the afternoon when Balbuena and Miguel put Marck Espejo and Ish Polvorosa of reigning men’s titlist Ateneo on the brink of elimination with a 21-17, 21-17 victory for a 4-2 slate.
The Blue Eagles stumbled to their fourth setback in six contests.
After losing to Adamson University’s Rence Melgar and John Philip Yude, 13-21, 15-21, in the morning session, La Salle entered the win column after five consecutive defeats with a 21-18, 18-21, 15-7 decision of UE’s Ruvince Abrot and Geric Ortega.