League-leading University of Santo Tomas secured a second consecutive trip to the UAAP Men’s Tennis Final Four after a bounce-back 4-1 victory past University of the Philippines, Saturday, Apr. 1, at the Felicisimo Ampon Tennis Center.
The Tiger Tennisters, who absorbed its first loss of the season at the hands of idle University of the East just last Wednesday, wasted no chance this time to secure the semifinal ticket with Ericjay Tangub closing out the tie with a come-from-behind win over Zire Mina, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in the second singles match.
Nilo Ledama and the duo of John Sonsona and Geo Serino put UST in a commanding 2-0 lead after taking care of their opponents. Ledama outworked Rafael Liangco, 6-2, 6-2, while Sonsona and Serino won past Karl Miguel and Jonas Silva, 7-5, 6-1
Walther Luzon and Allen Rombawa got one for the Fighting Maroons in the second doubles match — which was played simultaneously with the Tangub-Mina battle — at 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 over Symon Jaculan and Mark Directo, but in the third singles match, Sebastian Santos stopped Loucas Fernandez, 6-3, 7-5 to complete the rout for the Tennisters
Earlier in the day, NU took a huge step in claiming not just a Final Four berth but also a twice-to-beat advantage after taking down Ateneo, 3-2, for its fourth consecutive win.
Aljon Talatayod pulled off the upset over favored Nio Tria in the deciding singles match in a 6-4, 6-4 battle to put the Bulldogs in fourth with a 6-3 record, but just half-a-team tie behind the Blue Eagles and idle University of the East, who are both at 6-2 in a share of second spot.
Adamson University broke through the win column and leapfrogged De La Salle University in sixth place after tying the latter at 1-8 with a 4-1 rout. Junel Canal and Reymoses Amba were dominant in the 6-3, 6-1 second doubles win over Matt Palasan and Leyton Portin for the season host’s maiden victory.
On the women’s side, defending champion NU took care of UST to secure at least a playoff for a Finals berth.
Elizabeth Abarquez clinched the fifth straight win for the Lady Bulldogs this season with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 decision in the third singles match before Rovie Baulete and Angela Cabaral closed the day as 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 victors over Debbie Gom-os and Nichole Dela Rita.
Alexei Santos bagged the lone win for the Tennisters, who slipped to 3-3 in a share of third place with Ateneo de Manila University, after taking a 6-3, 6-0 win past Dana Abad in the first singles match.
Ateneo capitalized on the chance the UST defeat gave on its Finals hopes, as they edged out
De La Salle University in a reverse sweep, 3-2.
After Jam Madis and Angel Alcala shoot down Noelle Urgello and Nina Sandejas, 6-0, 6-0 for a 2-0 advantage, it was all Ateneo. Melanie Dizon started the comeback with a 6-3, 7-6 tussle with Aubrey Calma, and Althea Ong closed it in style with a 6-0, 6-0 clinic past Eliana Misa.
The Lady Green Tennisters are still winless 0-6.