Cherry Rondina and Rica Rivera turned back Alyssa Valdez and Bea Tan as the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses defeated the Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagles, 21-18, 21-18, yesterday in the UAAP Season 78 beach volleyball tournament at the Sands SM By The Bay.
With accurate shots and tough defense, reigning MVP Rondina and Rivera were impressive to help the Tigresses book their third straight win against the Lady Eagles who despite opened the tournament with four consecutive wins were handed their second straight loss, dampening Ateneo’s Final Four hopes.
At 4-2, the Lady Eagles, Tigresses and the De La Salle Lady Archers– 26-24, 21-13 winners over National University– are now tied from third to fifth spots with the Adamson University Lady Falcons and Far Eastern University Lady Tams tied on top at 4-1 after beating their respective foes.
Mylene Paat and Jessica Galanza of the Lady Falcons crushed the Lady Bulldogs’ Jaja Santiago and Jasmine Nabor, 21-15, 21-16, while Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza of the Lady Tamaraws triumphed over Arielle Estranero and Vina Alinas of the University of the Philippines, 21-10, 19-21, 15-8.
In the men’s division,Marck Espejo and Ysay Marasigan of the Blue Eagles moved closer in nailing an outright Finals berth with a thrice-to-beat bonus by prevailing in a duel of unbeaten teams against the Growling Tigers’ Kris Roy Guzman and Anthony Arbasto, 19-21, 21-18, 15-10.
Undefeated in six matches, Ateneo can clinch an automatic finals berth with a thrice-to-beat advantage with a victory over University of the East in the final day of eliminations today.
Despite the loss, UST, tied with NU’s Bryan Bagunas and Madzlan Gampong, 21-18, 21-12 victors over Green Spikers’ Levin Dimayuga and Carlo Sendo, in the second spot at 5-1, is already assured of a spot in the semifinals.