ADAMSON University nipped defending champion University of Santo Tomas, 20-22, 21-19, 16-14, in Game One of the best-of-three finals at the rained-soaked University of the East Caloocan sand court on Sunday and moved to within a win of capturing the UAAP Season 76 women's beach volleyball crown.
The rains failed to dampen the spirits of the belles from Adamson University, the season host, as they rallied from a 12-14 deficit in the deciding set to win the match in 40 minutes. Game Two is set 8:30 a.m. on Friday at the same venue.
Sheila Pineda hit a go-ahead spike for a 15-14 Adamson University lead and the Lady Falcons secured the victory after reigning MVP Maru Banaticla's tip-in went wide.
The Lady Falcons are eyeing their third women's beach volley crown but the first since 2010.
In the men's division, Adamson University also looked dominating as its pair of rookies continued its improbable run with Michael Saluria and Rence Melgar eliminating former champion Far Eastern University, 21-15, 17-21, 15-10, in the playoff for the last semifinals berth and third-ranked University of the Philippines, 21-13, 21-19, in the first stepladder match to force a duel with UST, which enjoys a twice-to-beat advantage after finishing No. 2 in the eliminations.
Titleholder National University is comfortably in the men’s finals with a tremendous thrice-to-beat edge after sweeping the seven-game eliminations.
The Tigresses won the opening frame on Banaticla’s tip-in and an Adamson University error.
Making major adjustments because of the incessant rain, the Lady Falcons managed to turn things around and build an 8-4 advantage in the second set.
But UST, with Pam Lastimosa on the firing end, made a comeback and cut the lead to a point, 17-16, before Amanda Villanueva took over as Adamson University moved closer to set point, 20-17.
After the Tigresses scored two straight points, Pineda finished the set with a drop shot that allowed the Lady Falcons to even things up.