November 28, 2023

Tiger Sands put UAAP crowns on the line


(Photo courtesy of UAAP)

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas puts its women's and men's titles on the line as the UAAP beach volleyball tournament ends Tuesday at the Sands SM By The Bay.

       Gen Eslapor will face her younger sister Euri for one final time as the top-ranked Tiger Sands clash with No. 4 University of the Philippines in the women's Final Four at 9:30 a.m.

       Alche Gupiteo and Rancel Varga, who finished second in the men's preliminaries, go up against third-ranked Ateneo at 8:45 p.m.

      The Tiger Sands are eyeing for their six-peat in the women's division and a fifth straight men's championship.

      The Final Four is a knockout affair, and expect all teams to leave everything in the sand court to advance to the one-match Final.

       No. 3 Far Eastern University, the only team which beat UST in the eliminations, takes on second-ranked National University in the other women's semis at 10:15 a.m.

       In the preliminary round, the Tiger Sands' Gen Eslapor and Sofiah Pagara pulled off a 21-9, 21-11 win over the Fighting Maroons' Euri Eslapor and Irah Jaboneta, while the Lady Bulldogs' Honey Grace Cordero and Kly Orillaneda downed the Lady Tamaraws' Melody Pons and Gerzel Petallo, 21-12, 21-19.

       James Buytrago and Alex Iraya, who powered NU to a seven-match sweep of the men's eliminations, face fourth-ranked FEU at 8 a.m to open the Final Four.

       In their head-to-head, the Bulldogs' Buytrago and Iraya emerged triumphant over the Tamaraws' Vincent Nadera and JJ Javelona, 21-12, 21-12, while the Tiger Sands' Gupiteo and Varga subdued the Blue Eagles' Jian Salarzon and Amil Pacinio, 21-12, 21-19.

       The winners will play in the Finals Tuesday afternoon, while the losers will relegate to battle for third place.

       The most successful program in the sport, UST has eight women's championships overall and seven men's crown.