UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas opened its title bid with a 5-0 domination of De La Salle University on the opening day of the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Tennis tournament, Saturday at the Felicisimo Ampon Tennis in Malate, Manila.
Nilo Ledama, who lorded it over in the National Collegiate Tennis Championships last year with three titles, paced the charge for the UST Tennisters with a 6-0, 6-1 short work of Al Francis Andrade in the first singles match that marked the competition’s return after a four-year hiatus.
De La Salle averted a complete sweep as Matt Palasan and RJ Varrey bagged the first set of the first doubles at 6-2 over Vince Serino and John Steven Sonsona.
Palasan, though, suffered stomach cramps, and the Green Tennisters had to retire with the third set at 4-0, as Serino and Sonsona equalized with a tiebreak win in the second frame.
“Siyempre, I’m happy kasi nag-perform yung players. Although, marami pang adjustments kasi first game pa lang naman. So, hopefully, ma-maintain yung performance ng players ko,” UST coach Alexander Diego said of the win.
Ateneo de Manila University also won in a 5-0 sweep over Adamson University with standouts Gab Tiamson and Jed Olivarez winning their respective singles matches.
Tiamson took down Catteo Jayme, 6-1, 6-2, while 2022 Olivarez Cup runner-up Olivarez repelled Ramon Bentillo, 6-2 6-0.
Joining UST and Ateneo with an opening-day win is University of the East, a 4-1 winner over University of the Philippines. Dawson Ormoc and Prince Lastimosa came from behind to deny Walther Luzon and Rafael Liangco, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, in the first doubles.
On the women’s side, UP and UST completed the cast of the first-day winners, taking down Ateneo and DLSU, 4-1 and 3-2, respectively.
Joshea Malazarte, who also got a triple championship in that same National Intercollegiate tilt, joined hands with Jesha Cervantes in a quick 6-0, 6-0 clinic past Bea De Ocampo and Gabby Sandejas in the first doubles match. Fighting Maroon Rachel Velez bucked nausea to finish Faye Dizon, 6-2, 6-4, in the first singles.
“Proud kaming lahat sa performance nila. Ngayon, sa first tie nila na-execute talaga nila yung gusto nilang ilabas. Emotionally, kinakabahan sila pero ang important, nag-enjoy sila,” UP coach Franklin Encarnacion said.
Princess Dela Rita impressed for the Tennisters with a 6-0, 6-0 blanking of Steffanie Martin, while Abbygale Singcol and Princess Gom-os shook off a second-set fightback from Arianne Nilasca and Kiezl Diaz, 6-0, 6-2.
DLSU’s Mikaela Vicencio stunned Miles Vitaliano in three sets, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2, to take the squad’s second win of the day.