UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas (UST) completed a golden double in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 beach volleyball tournament by winning the women’s and men’s division titles on Sunday.
The Tigresses became the most successful squad in the sport, as Cherry Rondina and Jem Gutierrez powered the España-based squad to a fourth title with a 21-17, 21-10 win over Far Eastern University’s Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza in the championship decider.
UST banked on a strong start in the second frame of Game 3, as Rondina scored the first five points of the set and nailed the championship-clinching set to seal the deal.
Rondina praised her new partner Gutierrez for a job well done all-season long.
Rondina, who was then paired with RJ Rivera when the Tigresses won the crown in her rookie season in 2014.
UST actually failed to register a perfect season as it dropped Game 2, 21-17, 17-21, 13-15, earlier in day, but Rondina and Gutierrez won’t be denied in reclaiming the throne.
Rondina, a product of Compostela National High School in Cebu, won her second Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in three years.
On the other hand, the Growling Tigers were successful in hacking out a 9-0 season sweep, as MVP KR Guzman and Anthony Arbasto downed the hard-fighting Tamaraws pair of Jude Garcia and Jeremiah Barrica, 21-16, 21-16, in Game 2.
UST has now won three men’s championships, tying FEU and National University for the most number of crowns.
As a consolation for the Tamaraws, Barrica, who replaced Richard Solis at the start of the step-ladder semifinals, was named the Rookie of the Year.
The triumph ended the Tigers’ heartbreak of being bridesmaids for the last three seasons.