UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas copped its second straight women’s title while National University completed its turnaround by winning a breakthrough men’s crown at the end of the UAAP Season 75 beach volleyball tournament on Saturday at the UE Caloocan sand court.
Behind Maru Banaticla and Judy Caballejo, the Tigresses capped their unbeaten season with a 19-21, 21-17, 15-10 decision over Adamson’s Sheila Pineda and Pau Soriano.
Edwin Tolentino and Josephenry Tipay of the Bulldogs went through the wringer to dethrone Far Eastern University’s Arvin Avila and Karl dela Calzada, 21-12, 20-22, 15-9, in the deciding Game Three of the finals.
The Tamaraws forced a do-or-die game with a 27-25, 21-17 victory, but they could not sustain the energy as they fell short in their bid for a third straight title.
UST used its excellent spikes and intelligent plays in the deciding third set to wear down the Lady Falcons.
The Tigresses rallied from an opening set loss and Banaticla, who was named the season MVP, survived a case of cramps in the second frame, where the España-based spikers went ahead, 9-6.
UST thus joined Adamson and FEU as the winningest women’s beach volleyball teams with two titles.
“Siguro, pareho lang matamis ang championship namin. Pareho lang dramatic rin ang naging ending ng pagiging champion namin,” said Caballejo, who is in her final season for the Tigresses.
“Sinabi ko kay Maru (Banaticla), tiwala lang. Alam namin na makukuha namin ang goal.”
The Tigresses, who entered the finals outright after scoring a seven-game sweep of the eliminations, won the opener, 23-25, 21-16, 15-12.
Adamson clinched the second championship berth by ousting La Salle’s Wensh Tiu and Kim Fajardo, 21-19, 21-11, in their sudden-death semifinal duel.
Tolentino was named as the men’s division MVP, while the Rookie of the Year honors went to University of the East’s Justin Roque.