In a battle for pride, the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Tennisters emerged the victors over the De La Salle University Green Netters in the tie between the two eliminated teams, 4-1, Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
Rookie Dave Mosqueda set the tone for UST with a three-set win over fellow newbie Betto Orendain in the first singles match. The two upstarts fought hard in the opening set, before Orendain mauled Mosqueda in the tiebreak, 7-2. As if to atone for that performance, the Thomasian turned it up several notches in the following sets and pulled of dominating 6-0, 6-1 wins.
In the second singles match, La Salle’s LA Cañizares finally stopped his funk and took another win. The third-year Green Netter subdued sophomore Nico Lanzado in two sets, 7-6, 6-3. It was a tug-of-war in the first set before Cañizares managed to rout Lanzado in the tiebreak. From there, DLSU never looked back and fended off UST to take the second set.
Veteran Kyle Parpan put the Taft-based squad on the lead after stopping Jose Suazo in straight sets. Parpan dictated the pace of the match from the get-go and breezed past the Thomasian sophomore in the first set, 6-3. The La Sallian stepped on the gas in the following set, allowing Suazo mere points, and blanked his opponent at 6-0.
However, the UST doubles pairs had other plans, and they turned it around to their favor. Team Captain Joel Cabusas and Bernlu Bering clinched the first doubles match in three sets over Jonah Cano and Qoqo Allian. Both teams rolled on to victory in the sets they won. UST easily took the first at 6-2, before La Salle forced a decider with at 6-3 second set win. Bering and Cabusas then returned to their good plays to get the third set again at 6-2.
One win away from victory or agony, La Salle’s Hans Asistio and Dale Gorospe and UST’s Francis Patiño and Mark Cabahug battled it out in the second doubles match. UST secured the first set due to a double-break advantage at 6-3. La Salle attempted to keep it close in the second frame; nonetheless, the Thomasians proved too strong against Asistio and Gorospe. In the end, Patiño and Cabahug sent their opponents reeling to their ninth consecutive loss, 7-5.