Blue Eagles near outright finals berth in UAAP beach volleyball

Mark Escarlote on Oct 16, 2015 04:00 PM
Ateneo stays unbeaten in six games
Ateneo de Manila's Marck Espejo and Ysrael Marasigan are a win away from an eliminations sweep and an outright finals berth armed with a thrice-to-beat advantage in the 78th UAAP men's beach volleyball tournament.

Ateneo de Manila University remains undefeated as the Blue Eagles' tandem of Marck Espejo and Ysrael Marasigan snatched their sixth straight win and inched closer to an outright championship berth in the 78th UAAP men’s beach volleyball tournament Friday at the MOA Sands SM By The Bay.     

The Blue Eagles defeated Adamson Falcons' Michael Sudaria and Rence Melgar, 21-18, 21-18, in the morning session before handing the erstwhile co-leader University of Sto. Tomas' pair of Kris Roy Guzman and Anthony Arbastro their first setback in an extended match, 19-21, 21-18, 15-10.

Ateneo holds a 6-0 win-loss record and another win against University of the East Red Warriors on Saturday will give the Katipunan-based tandem a free championship ticket with a thrice-to-beat advantage.

In other men’s results, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws demolished UE, 21-17, 21-9; while National University Bulldogs defeated De La Salle Green Archers, 21-18, 21-12.      
The Bulldogs and Tigers are assured of a spot in the Final Four with identical 5-1 slates.

Adamson and FEU are both in the running for the last semifinals spot with 2-4 marks. The Falcons are still seeing action against the Red Warriors while the Tams are scheduled to take on the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons as of posting time.

In the women’s division, the drive for Final Four just got tighter.

The former three-time champion Adamson pair of Mylene Paat and Jessica Galanza collected their fourth win in five games after taming NU’s Jaja Santiago and Jasmine Nabor, 21-15, 21-16; while FEU Lady Tams’ Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza outlasted UP’s Arielle Estranero and Vina Alinas, 21-10, 19-21, 15-8 to further strengthen their respective semis spot campaign.

Defending champion UST scored the biggest upset of the day when the pair of Rica Rivera and Cherry Rondina hand crowd-favorite Alyssa Valdez and Bea Tan of Atene their second straight loss, 21-18, 21-18, after a blistering four-game winning streak.    
De La Salle’s Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo nipped NU, 26-24, 21-13, to stay in the hunt for a Final Four seat. 

FEU and Adamson share the top spot with 4-1 cards while Ateneo, La Salle and UST are close behind at third to fifth with 4-2 slates. 

The Lady Tams and Lady Falcons can secure a semifinals berth if they hurdle the Lady Warriors and Lady Maroons, respectively, in the late afternoon match Friday.



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