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Beach Volleyball

Bernadeth Pons makes the difference



The PVL semifinals series between the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws and the Adamson University Lady Falcons was locked in grueling five-setters for the first two games.

In the deciding Game Three, however, FEU needed just four sets to put away Adamson.

In a series heavily affected by absences, it was just right that Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza’s presence decided who went to the Finals.

Pons, FEU’s captain and graduating leader, and Atienza, their starting libero, had missed FEU’s last four matches as they prepared for and participated in the UAAP Beach Volleyball tournament.

With the tournament on break until Thursday, Pons and Atienza had time to suit up in the PVL.

Adamson’s top scorer and skipper Jema Galanza, however, could not forego her recovery from a gruesome ankle injury, leaving the Lady Falcons at a decided disadvantage.PVL College ADMU vs. FEU - Pons-1530

“Nandiyan si Pons, kaya kami nanalo,” said a relieved FEU head coach George Pascua. “Gusto ko rin na nandiyan ang presence nila para ma-motivate ang mga kasama nila. Siyempre, puwede naman maglaro, why not, kasi gusto ko na lahat ng laro niya, gusto ko mag-champion kasi last playing year niya.

“Lahat ng games namin para sa kanila na mga ga-graduate.”

Pons, on her part, just wanted to contribute as much as she could after missing their indoor practices for the last three weeks.

“Sinabi ko talaga sa sarili ko na pag naglaro ako, ili-lead ko talaga yung team kasi yun nga, parang nakita ko rin nung past two games ng semis na andoon naman, nalalabas naman nila yung laro nila pero kulang yung leadership sa loob,” recalled the 5-foot-7 spiker, who provided 15 points, 14 digs, and 11 excellent receptions to pace the Lady Tams. “So sabi ko na pag naglaro ako, yung isang way na matutulong ko sa team is mali-lead ko sila, tapos siyempre lead by example.

“Tapos ayun, palagi ko rin silang mino-motivate kahit di ako nakakapaglaro ng past two games.”

Playing in her final year, the Negrense just wants to win as many championships as she can for FEU.UAAP 80 Women's Beach Volleyball - FEU def ADMU - Atienza Pons

“Last year ko na po kasi kaya nilulubos ko na lahat ng chance ko na masuklian ‘yung mga pagkakataon na binigay sa akin ng FEU,” the 20-year-old expressed.

Even if that means having to play on different courts in a span of four days.


Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball – from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado’s setting.

Beach Volleyball

Bulldogs reclaim Beach Volley throne



After two years and three lineup transitions, Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad have proved to be National University’s winning combination, taking down defending champs University of Santo Tomas Tiger Spikers’ Kris Roy Guzman and Anthony Arbasto in the UAAP Season 80 Beach Volleyball tournament at the Sands SM by the Bay.

Both squads traded down-to-the-wire wins in the first two matches of the best-of-three series, with UST taking Game One, 22-20, 26-24, and NU picking up Game Two 21-19, 9-21, 15-10.

The rubber match was also a tight affair, with the Bulldogs slamming their foes 21-15 in the first set, only for the partial UST crowd to fire up their tandem in a rousing 21-14 second-frame victory.

The third set fittingly displayed the gritty, back-and-forth rivalry between both squads. The National University seemingly had the game-deciding cushion after grabbing a 9-7 lead. UST, however, rallied back, tying the set at 9 and trading big hit after big hit with the much taller NU side.

It was five-year beach veteran Guzman who delivered his team’s nail in the coffin, swinging straight into the net and giving the Bulldogs a 13-11 lead.

Having lost out on titles both in indoor and beach for the past two years, Bagunas and Natividad finally showed the maturity needed to clinch a title.

Neither gave up an error or made the missteps they had habitually made the past two years. Both squared up, and powered in the last two points of the match.

“Sobrang saya po namin. Talagang inisip lang namin lahat ng sinakripisyo namin para sa championship na ‘to. Binigay namin lahat namin talaga,” said Bagunas, who was named the MVP.

“Nagtiwala lang po talaga kami sa isa’t isa,” said third-year hitter Natividad. “Lahat po ng tao sa paligid namin at tumulong sa amin, grabe po ‘yung pagtitiwala nila. Kaya nagtiwala na lang kaming dalawa sa isa’t isa.”

NU last won the title in Season 77 on the back of veterans Edwin Tolentino and Henry Tipay.

Guzman and Arbasto ended their three-year partnership with a gold and two silvers. Guzman, the uncle in the uncle-nephew duo, capped his five-year beach stint.

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Beach Volleyball

UST clinches back-to-back titles



In a rematch of last season’s Finals, the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses Cherry Rondina and Caitlyn Viray turned a predicted classic into a romp, sweeping Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza in the UAAP Season 80 Beach Volleyball Finals at the Sands SM by the Bay.

After taking Game One, 21-17, 22-20, the Tigresses showed their heart, coming back from a 14-19 deficit in the second set of Game Two to secure the sweep, 21-15, 21-19.

“Teamwork po talaga ang nagdala sa amin dito,” said UST’s Cherry Rondina. who has gone undefeated throughout the UAAP tournament for the first time in four years of competition.

“Inisa-isa lang po talaga namin ‘yung puntos kasi alam namin na lalaban ang FEU. ‘Di na lang talaga namin hinayaan na sumuko kam,” the three-time UAAP gold medalist added.

Rondina clinched her third UAAP title, and each time she had a different partner.

“Malaki po talaga ‘yung tiwala ko Cait. Hindi naman kami makakarating dito kung hindi niya sobrang ginalingan,” Rondina said of the lefty sophomore.

Pons and Atienza end their UAAP Beach Volley career with their third silver medal.

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UP narrows gap with Ateneo after Day 2



Even as their rivals collected four gold medals in five events at the second day of the 80th UAAP Swimming Championships, the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons cut the lead of the Ateneo Lady Eagles by 20 points to end the tally with 206 points, behind Ateneo’s 219 points.

Ateneo’s star rookie Chloe Daos won two of those four gold medals in the 400m Freestyle (4:38.15) and 100m Butterfly (1:05.46).

In both events, it was graduating Lady Maroon Delia Cordero who finished second, clocking 4:46.87 in the 400m Freestyle and 1:06.05 in the 100m Butterfly. Another Lady Maroon, Nadine Tee Ten, took the bronze medal in the 400m Freestyle by registering a time of 4:47.23 while it was UST’s Angelic Saavedra who finished third in the 100m Butterfly with a time of 1:09.10 respectively.

But it was UP’s dominance in the 50m Breaststroke, where Ateneo had no qualifiers, that proved to be the most productive event for the Lady Maroons. Joy Rodgers conquered the event in 33.90 ahead of teammate Teresa Dela Rosa’s 36.67 and NU newcomer Nichole Evangelista’s 36.82.

To gain some lost ground, the Lady Eagles surprisingly swept the podium in the 200m Backstroke. Freshman Courtney Gray (2:27.65) and senior Ariana Herranz (2:28.00) were in a class of their own but a spirited performance by team captain Julia Balanag (2:34.58) became the highlight of the night as she edged out two UP contenders enroute to her first individual bronze medal.

The Lady Eagles capped the night off by ruling the 4x100m Freestyle Relay as Hannah Castañeda, Hannah Dato, Shayn Ting and Andrea Ngui teamed up to finish first in 4:14.58. UP finished second in 4:21.16 while UST was third in 4:28.34.

In the individual awards race, Rookie of the Year and MVP candidate Daos leads all swimmers with 57 points while UP’s Tee Ten has 51 points.

UAAP Season 80 Women’s Swimming tally after Day 2

ADMU – 219
UP – 206
UST – 57
DLSU – 35
NU – 16

On Deck

200m Freestyle
100m Breaststroke
50m Butterfly
100m Backstroke
400m Individual Medley
4x50m Freestyle Relay

The Preliminary Session begins at 8:30am while the Finals Session begins at 3:30pm

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Beach Volleyball

Heavy rains delay Women’s UST-FEU, Men’s NU-UST Finals



Due to inclement weather, UAAP officials have decided to move the start of the beach volleyball tournament Finals to Saturday at 3:00pm, still at the Sands SM by the Bay.

Earlier in the day, Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws’ Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza broke into the Women’s Finals after squashing the University of the Philippines’ Tots Carlos and Arielle Estrañero, 21-8, 21-18.

They face University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses Cherry Rondina and Caitlyn Viray in a rematch of last season’s classic best-of-three series.
UAAP 80 Men's Beach Volleyball - UST def UP - Arbasto Guzman
On the Men’s side, UST’s Kris Roy Guzman and Anthony Arbasto moved a step closer to back-to-back titles after slamming FEU’s Jude Garcia and Jeremiah Barrica, 21-17, 21-16.

The Tiger Spikers take on the National University Bulldogs tandem of Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad in the Finals.

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