November 25, 2023

Tiger Sands foil Lady Bulldogs elims sweep bid

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas' Sofiah Pagara and Gen Eslapor foiled National University's Honey Grace Cordero and Kly Orillaneda's elimination round sweep bid, 21-19, 21-16, in a rematch of last season's UAAP women's beach volleyball Final at the Sands SM By The Bay Saturday.

       The six-peat seeking Tiger Sands secured their fifth straight win, as rookie Pagara and senior Eslapor used their smart plays to frustrate Cordero and Orillaneda, ending the Lady Bulldogs' six-match winning run.

       In the men's division, NU completed a seven-match elims sweep in with a 22-20, 21-17 conquest of defending champion UST.  

     James Buytrago and Alex Iraya ended Alche Gupiteo and Rancel Varga's streak of six consecutive straight-set romps, as the Bulldogs overcame a gritty Tiger Sands stand in the extended first set to formalize their No. 1 ranking in the Final Four.

      Prior to the defeat, NU won all its six women's matches via straight sets.

      Far Eastern University later forced a three-way tie in first place at 6-1, as Melody Pons and Gerzel Petallo needed only 27 minutes to beat Adamson's Ishie Lalongisip and Red Bascon, 21-8, 21-7. 

      The Tiger Sands emerged as the top-ranked team by virtue of superior rally point ratio (1.065) over the Lady Bulldogs (1.055) and the Lady Tamaraws (0.898).

       UST's lone loss of the season came from the hands of FEU, which ended its foes' 38-match winning streak early in the eliminations.

       University of the Philippines bagged its third straight Final Four stint as Euri Eslapor and Irah Jaboneta overpowered La Salle's Sophia Sindayen and Gilliana Torres, 21-8, 21-7.

      The Fighting Maroons, who reached podium last season, placed fourth with a 4-3 record, and will face the Tiger Sands in the knockout Final Four on Tuesday morning.

      The second-ranked Lady Bulldogs and the No. 3 Lady Tamaraws clash in the other Final Four pairing.

      The Final Four survivors will play in the one-match Final on Tuesday afternoon, while the losers to drop in the battle for third, also a one-off affair.

      Ateneo nipped University of the East, 17-21, 21-11, 15-8, in the other match to wound up in fifth place with a 3-4 record.

      The Lady Warriors, the Lady Falcons and the Lady Spikers ended their season with similar 1-6 slates from sixth to eighth spots.

      Ateneo's Jian Salarzon and Amil Pacinio pulled off a 21-13, 24-22 victory over FEU's Vincent Nadera and JJ Javelona to secure the No. 3 ranking with a 5-2 record.  

      In the Final Four, the Bulldogs will take on the Tamaraws, while the Tiger Sands clash with the Blue Eagles in the other pairing.

      La Salle, the Season 84 third placers, ended up fifth with a 3-4 card as it overcame UP, 22-20, 21-18.

     Adamson settled for seventh following a 21-19, 21-17 victory over UE.