Reigning UAAP Women’s Tennis champion National University secured its sixth finals appearance in seven years by edging out winless De La Salle University in a 3-2 decision on Sunday at the Felicisimo Ampon Tennis Center.
With a pristine 6-0 record, the Lady Bulldogs await their opponents at the top of the standings. Elsei Abarquez pulled through in the third singles match for the squad against Aubrey Macalma, 6-1, 6-1.
Maikee Vicencio took the first singles match for the Lady Green Tennisters, 6-2, 6-1, over J.M. Carcueva. However, Danna Abad got one back for the Lady Bulldogs with a 6-2, 6-0 finish against Steph Martin in the second singles.
DLSU’s Eliana Misa and Beatrice Gomez won the first doubles rubber on the walkover of Allysa Bornia and Alliah Ragunton. Eventually, though, NU’s Rovie Baulete and Jan Anghag dominated Jam Madis and Angel Alcal, 6-2, 6-1 in the second to set up Abarquez’s heroics.
Meanwhile, University of the Philippines made a step towards claiming the other final spot with a win against fellow contender Ateneo de Manila University with a similar 3-2 result.
With the tie hanging in the balance, the top Fighting Maroons duo of Joshea Malazarte and Jesha Cervantes needed to come back from a set deficit. Still, they snagged the win, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, against Tracy Llamas and Mariam Garsin.
On the men’s side, University of the East shut the door on UP and sealed the Final Four cast after a 4-1 rout in their morning session’s tie.
Rastly Baje and Stephen Guia secured the semifinals berth, bringing NU with them and joining the University of Santo Tomas and Ateneo after a 6-3 6-3 tussle with Walther Luzon and Allen Rombawa.
Later that day, UST and Ateneo took care of their respective opponents to keep themselves in the hunt for the twice-to-beat incentive.
UST swept luckless Adamson University, 5-0, paced by the 7-6, 6-3 intense victory from Symon Jaculan and Nik Isagan over Junel Canal and Reymoses Amba to keep the top spot at 8-1.
Ateneo, on the other hand, shares second place with UE at 7-2 after taking a huge 4-1 win against archrival DLSU.
Mik Balce and JJ Llavore pulled through in the pivotal second doubles match, 7-5, 1-6, 6-2, over EJ Geluz and Leyton Portin to secure the Blue Eagles’ win.
Adamson and DLSU are both at the bottom at 1-9, behind UP’s 3-7 record.