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Nilo Ledama, UST secure UAAP Men’s Tennis back-to-back


University of Santo Tomas successfully defended its UAAP Men’s Tennis title on Sunday at the Felicisimo Ampon Tennis Center.

The Male Tennisters pulled the rug out from under the Ateneo de Manila University for back-to-back championships with Richard Bautista and Nash Agustines dominating JJ Llavore and Stef Gurria, 6-4, 6-2, in the second doubles rubber.

“Pressured din kami kasi syempre in-eexpect ng mga tao na ma-defend namin ‘yung title. Pero maganda ‘yung preparation namin, mahaba ‘yung preparation namin. Itong last na ‘to ang ganda ng nilaro ng mga bata. Ito na talaga ‘yung pang-Finals,” UST assistant coach and Philippine tennis icon Johnny Arcilla shared.

Arcilla, head coach Alexander Diego, and the rest of the team decided to gamble on putting back-to-back MVP Nilo Ledama in one of the doubles pairings.

The crucial decision paid off as Ledama and eventual Finals MVP Steven Sonsona took the first doubles match against the Blue Eagles’ top pair of Nio Tria and the season’s top newbie Axl Gonzaga, 6-2, 6-1, starting off the comeback.

Noy Seno picked up the Blue Eagles’ eventual lone win of the day with 6-1, 6-0 quick work over rookie Christopher Sonsona.

EJ Tangub, though, made sure to repeat against Austin Delos Santos to put the Male Tennisters back in the driver’s seat at 2-1 with a 6-1, 6-4 victory in the second singles match to set up Bautista and Agustines for the clincher.

“Sa ngayon, balik aral muna sila. Then, si coach Balong (Diego), pupunta ‘yan sa Palarong Pambansa para tumingin ng mga baong players. And then, mag-prepare ulit kami for next season,” shared coach Arcilla on UST’s three-peat plan.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.


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