Needing a win to stay in the hunt for the other Finals berth, the De La Salle University men’s tennis team dug deep and pulled through.
The Green Tennisters swept the singles matches of the day to edge out the reigning champions National University Bulldogs, 3-2, Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
La Salleare is very much aware of the situation, head coach Roland Kraut shared. “We know na NU and ourselves are in contention,” he said. “Actually, [most] of the teams are in contention. All of them could not be taken for granted.”
“It shows eh. NU beat UE last week, so worried ako na they are coming from a big win. So, I told the boys na, ‘We have to be the ones who should be more confident because we beat them last round.’ Buti na lang naka-respond.”
Senior Kyle Parpan opened the day once again with a win for the Taft-based side after taking care of Jeric Accion in three sets, 6-3, 2-6, 6-0. Afterwards, LA Cañizares clinched the win against Arc Dolorito also after the full route, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.
The Bulldogs would, however, take the first doubles match after Kiko Alcantara and Allen Manlangit dominated Raphael Teng and Hans Asistio, 6-1, 6-3.
Nonetheless, Betto Orendain wrapped up the win for the Green and White with a 6-3, 6-2 sweep of Macky Latorre. NU’s Jigo Peña and Justine Prulla averted a rout, taking one against Jonah Cano and Qoqo Allian, 6-3, 6-2.
Kraut hopes that his wards would continue their momentum because “it is the last push.” He added, “It’s the last weekend. Two more big games against UE and UP. You can’t be too scared of UE and you can’t be too confident of UP. Our outlook of the two ties should be the same.”
The 4-4 Green Tennisters will face the Finals-bound University of the East Red Warriors (7-1) on Saturday, March 11 at 8am. Later that day, the defending champions (3-4) will try to keep their title-defense alive when they face the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons (1-7) at 2pm.