DEFENDING two-time champion National University gained a piece of the early lead with last season’s runner-up University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas after the opening weekend action of the UAAP Season 77 men’s tennis tournament at the Olivarez Sports Center.
With reigning MVP Fritz Verdad leading the way, the Bulldogs opened their quest for another championship with identical 4-1 victories over University of the East and Ateneo, stretching their unbeaten run to 24.
The Fighting Maroons made quick work of the Blue Eagles, 4-1, in the opener before surviving De La Salle the following day, 3-2, while the Growling Tigers began their bid with a close 3-2 win over the Green Archers followed by a 4-1 conquest of the Red Warriors.
In the women’s division, the Tigresses made an early statement as the España-based netters wrested the top spot with a 2-0 slate.
Behind Kendies Malinis, UST thwarted UP, 4-1, followed by a 3-2 squeaker over Season 75 titlist La Salle to as it made known its intention to wrest the championship the school last won three years ago.
Powered by the Patrimonio sisters, last season’s MVP Tin and rookie Clarice, the back-to-back seeking Lady Bulldogs began their campaign with a 4-1 victory over the Lady Maroons.
The Lady Archers, who hacked out a 4-1 win over the Lady Eagles on opening day, are sporting a 1-1 card. Ateneo and UP are holding 0-1 and 0-2 slates, respectively.