ATENEO’s Ponggay Gaston and Jules Samonte won a tough three-setter early before play in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament was rained out on Tuesday at the Sands by the Bay in Pasay City.
Gaston and Samonte defeated University of the Philippines’ Isa Molde and Justine Dorog, 21-19, 17-21, 16-14, and were back on the sandcourt leading Far Eastern University’s Ivana Agudo and Sheena Gallentes in the first set, 10-9, when typhoon organizers halted play.
Rains persisted and the UAAP decided the remaining matches will be moved to Friday, including the Ateneo-FEU match with the scores to be reset.
Ateneo sits in joint fourth with a 2-3 win-loss record.
University of the Philippines faces University of the East, while La Salle and National University will clash on Friday morning before the original scheduled games on that day.
Sisi Rondina and Babylove Barbon of University of Sto. Tomas are a win away from sweeping the eliminations after beating Adamson’s Hannah Infante and Gracel Ave, 21-7, 21-11.
Rondina and Barbon earlier dealt NU rookies Orillaneda and Antonette Landicho their first loss, 21-12, 21-7.
“Iniisip lang namin kung ano 'yung goal namin; manalo o matalo man basta we did our best, that's what matters eh,” Rondina said. “Hindi na namin iniisip 'yung resulta masyado. Sinasabi ko sa kanya (Barbon) kung gusto mo maganda 'yung outcome ng paghihirap natin, bakit hindi natin ituloy 'to.”
“Ang maganda sa kanya is nagpapadala kahit parang gigil ako maglaro. Nahihirapan akong dalhin pero maganda sa kanya is palaban siya. Siguro, 'yung pag-intindi sa isa't isa aayusin pa namin,” the threepeat-seeking Tigress added.
Orillaneda and Landicho (5-1) are in joint second place with La Salle’s Mich Morente and Tin Tiamzon, who defeated win-loss UE’s Lyen Ritual and Donna Nebrea, 21-4, 21-5.
Before Adamson’s Infante and Ave were eliminated by Rondina and Barbon, the Lady Falcons ousted Lady Tamaraws Agudo and Gallentes, who substituted for Marianne Calinawan in the third set, with a 17-21, 21-14, 15-10 victory.
In men’s play, FEU is also a win away from a sweep and an outright finals berth.
Jude Garcia and Kevin Hadlocon bagged their sixth straight victory, beating La Salle’s Geraint Bacon and Paul Serrano, 21-11, 21-10.
“Sobrang importante po 'yun kasi malapit na kami sa goal namin na makarating sa championship so pagtatrabahuhan namin,” said Garcia, who will try to complete elimination round sweep with Hadlocon against Ateneo on Friday.
“Alam namin na lalaban 'yun kasi Ateneo sila. Kailangan namin pagigihan pa at pagtibayan pa lahat ng aspeto sa amin.”
“Mga nasa 90 percent na kasi malapit na kami, wala pang nakakatalo sa amin. 'Yung kumpiyansa namin malaki na. Pero minsan doon ka din matatalo sa kumpiyansa so maintain lang kami sa confidence,” he added.
NU and UST tightened their grip on joint second place and are assured of semifinal berths.
Sand Tigers Krung Arbasto and Jaron Requinton turned back Adamson Falcons Paolo Pablico and Jesus Valdez, 23-21, 21-15, while reigning champions Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad of NU swept Alven Aljas and Clifford Inoferio of UE, 21-16, 21-15.
NU and UE had to playing under the rain but Bagunas and Natividad remained unstoppable.
“Yun nga syempre nag adjust kami kasi gayon lang umulan na ongoing ang season. Ngayon lang nangyari yung umulan sa laro,” Bagunas said. “Andun yung adjustment namin, pero nakuha naman namin agad yung tempo namin. Di naman kami masyado nahirapan kasi usually naman, nung mga nakaraan binabagyo so nagttraining pa rin kami. So medyo sanay na kami.o
UST and NU clash for the No. 2 spot and twice-to-beat advantage on Friday.
“Pinaghahandaan din namin yon, siya na lang din last game namin, UST. Kailangan namin manalo para makuha namin rank two,” Bagunas said.
Ateneo’s Abai Llenos and Kurt Aguilar put a glimmer of hope on their dimming semis chances with a 21-16, 21-15 victory over Mac Millete and Niccolo Consuelo of University of the Philippines
Ateneo is tied for fifth with UE, behind solo fourth placer Adamson (3-3). UP (1-5) and La Salle (0-6) are already out of contention.