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UST volleybelles on a roll


Five-peat-seeking University of Santo Tomas and two other teams remained unbeaten after the first two playdates of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 women’s beach volleyball tournament at the Sands SM By the Bay over the weekend.

Bannered by the battle-tested pair of reigning Most Valuable Player Babylove Barbon and Gen Eslapor, the Tigresses made a firm statement of their intention to keep their throne after winning three straight matches.

The duo easily conquered Ateneo de Manila University’s young crew of Pia Ildefonso and Ysa Nisperos, 21-8, 21-14, on Sunday.

UST’s win came at the heels of its two-game opening day romp last Saturday when it survived an early acid test by Far Eastern University’s Gerzel Petallo and Melody Pons, 23-21, 21-17 win, before returning on the sand court in the rainy afternoon session for a 21-10, 21-13 victory over University of the Philippines’ Euri Eslapor and Alyssa Bertolano.

“I’m glad that the competition has returned and after two years, we’re back here playing at the MOA (sand court),” Barbon, the Season 81 RoY said. “All teams have improved and are fielding their best bets.”

Overall, the Tigresses have won 31 straight matches dating back from Game 3 of the Season 79 Finals in 2016 led by four-time MVP Sisi Rondina and then Rookie of the Year Caitlyn Viray.

Not to be outdone, De La Salle University’s Justine Jazareno and Jolina dela Cruz also topped their first three opponents including a 21-16, 22-20 win over FEU also Sunday.

The Lady Spikers overwhelmed Ateneo, 21-8, 21-15, to open their campaign before crushing Adamson University’s Mary Grace Borromeo and Aliah Marce, 21-16, 21-7.

National University also took a share of the early lead, going undefeated against Adamson, Ateneo and UP.

Honey Grace Cordero and Kly Orillaneda demolished the Blue Eagles, 21-12, 21-14, before coming back from a set down to frustrate the Fighting Maroons, 17-21, 21-14, 15-11, in the afternoon session.

In their lone opening day match, the Lady Bulldogs buried the Lady Falcons, 21-12, 21-18.

The Lady Tamaraws, fashioned out a 21-16, 21-11 win over University of the East’s Ella Mae Capillano and Meriam Mungcal on Sunday, fell to 1-2.

Adamson defeated UE, 21-13, 21-12, to tie UP and FEU at 1-2. The Blue Eagles and the Lady Warriors remained winless in three matches.

In men’s action, UST’s Jaron Requinton and Rancel Varga are also making waves in their four-peat bid.

The Tigers defeated Dan Nicolas and Erl Eusebio of UP, 21-15, 21-10, to remain perfect after matches.

National University’s James Buytrago and Pol Salvador made quick work of De La Salle’s Noel Kampton and Vince Maglinao, 21-12, 21-12, to also post a 3-0 record.

FEU improved to 2-1 slate after Vincent Nadera and Martin Bugaoan downed Adamson’s Francis Casas and Evander Novillo, 21-18, 21-11.

Jian Salarzon and Amil Pacinio steered Ateneo to its second win in three matches following a 21-10, 21-17 beating of UE’s Jake Abria and Allen Buensalida.

Nicolas and Eusebio, who earlier scored a 21-14, 21-15 win over UE, dropped to 1-2.

Earlier, Adamson’s Casas and Novillo outlasted La Salle’s Kampton and Maglinao, 21-14, 20-22, 15-12, to enter the win column.

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