It was more of the same for the upstart University of the East men’s tennis team.
The Finals-bound Red Warriors edged out championship rivals University of Santo Tomas, 3-2, to finish off the eliminations with a 9-1 win-loss record, Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
With so much tennis left to be played that morning before the Finals cast was settled, the Male Tennisters from España needed this match-up taken care of, and thus played their A-game to deny the opponents the win.
Rookie and top Most Valuable Player candidate AJ Lim made short work of Nico Lanzado, 6-2, 6-1, in the first singles match. Afterwards, Josshua Kinaadman bounced back from his most recent loss, sweeping Francis Suazo in two 6-1 sets.
The Recto-based netters then clinched the tie in just three matches, as Rolly Saga and Rogelio Estaño Jr. pocketed the first doubles match after nosing out Clarence Cabahug and En-En Lopez, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.
Team captain Joel Cabusas and partner Bernlou Bering took one for UST as they edged out counterpart Paulo Baran and Jeric Delos Santos in three sets, 0-6, 6-3, 7-6, in the other doubles match.
Sophomore Dave Mosqueda then followed this up with a sweep of Rodolfo Barquin Jr. at 6-4, 6-0.
Both teams then waited for the day to end to know if they would meet each other in the last dance. And after the Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles stunned the National University Bulldogs, the Finals matchup was set.
UST (6-3) will close their elimination round with the abandoned tie against the deposed champions Bulldogs (4-5), Wednesday, March 15, at 8am.
The first tie of the championship series between the Red Warriors and the Male Tennisters will be on Saturday, March 18, at 8am.