University of Santo-Tomas advances to beach volleyball event final
Manila, Philippines (4E Sports) – Defending champion University of Santo Tomas (UST) marched into the final of the 75th UAAP women’s beach volleyball event after sweeping the seven-game elimination phase Wednesday at the University of the East-Caloocan sand court.
The Tigresses’ duo of reigning Most Valuable Player Judy Caballejo and Maru Banaticla edged the partnership of Ateneo de Manila’s Fille Cainglet and Alyssa Valdez, 21-19, 21-19, to finish the elimination phase with an immaculate 7-0 mark.
The feat towed the Tigresses to the finals where they will face the winner of the La Salle-Adamson showdown for the last championship berth Saturday with a thrice-to-beat advantage.
“We definitely have the edge because our opponents have to beat us thrice while we only have to beat them twice,” UST coach Emil Lontoc said. “We have to improve our physical conditioning and mental toughness coming into the finals.”
The Tigresses were sluggish at the start, surrendering a 2-10 lead to the Lady Eagles but slowly got back into the match with precise placement shots to even the count at 19-all before clinching the first-set victory.
In the second set, Caballejo and Banaticla tightened up on defense to help them seal the match, 21-19.
The Lady Falcons’ partnership of Pau Soriano and Sheila Pineda hammered out a 16-21, 21-11, 15-12 victory over the Lady Archers’ Wensh Tiu and Kim Fajardo to force a one-game playoff for the last final berth.