UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas looks headed to regaining the UAAP General Championship in Season 77 but is clinging on to a slim five-point lead over reigning seniors titlist La Salle at the end of first semester action.
Banking on victories in women's beach volleyball, men's taekwondo and men's and women's judo, the Growling Tigers have collected 152 points.
UST, which has the most number of seniors overall titles with 39, placed second in men's beach volleyball and bagged third place trophies in women's taekwondo and poomsae and men's swimming and table tennis.
Those offset the Tigers' disappointing showing in men's basketball, where they ended up sixth after consecutive runner-up finishes.
Despite their failure to defend their titles in several fronts, the Green Archers have gained 147 points.
La Salle swept the men's and women's table tennis titles in the first semester.
The Archers finished second in women's beach volleyball, taekwondo and poomsae and in men's badminton and were third in men's basketball and women's basketball and swimming.
University of the Philippines is running third spot with 130 points after topping women's taekwondo and badminton and poomsae events. The Fighting Maroons were No. 2 in men's and women’s table tennis and men's and women's swimming and were third in men's judo.
Boosted by a sweep of men's and women's swimming titles, Ateneo is in fourth with 114 points. The Blue Eagles captured second-placed trophies in women's badminton and men's and women's judo, while their men's badminton team copped third place.
Capping its first semester stint by ending a long 60-year title drought in men's basketball, National University stood at fifth place with 99 points. With their sports program on the rise, the Bulldogs also won titles in women's basketball, men's badminton and beach volleyball, while achieving a breakthrough third-place finish in men's taekwondo.
In sixth place with 91 points, Far Eastern University settled for runner-up honors in men's and women's basketball and was No. 3 in women's badminton and table tennis.
Season host University of the East is seventh with 66 points highlighted by a surprise second-place finish in men's taekwondo and a third-place trophy in women's judo, while Adamson University took up the rear with 53 points with podium finishes in women's and men's beach volleyball.
The UAAP awards 15 points for the champion team, 12 points for second place, 10 for third, eighth for fourth, six for fifth, four for sixth, two for seventh and one for eighth.
Second semester action begins on November 22 with the volleyball competitions at the Mall of Asia Arena.