Defending UAAP Men’s Tennis champions University of the East Red Warriors made quick work of last year’s runners-up University of Santo Tomas Male Shuttlers, winning all five matches in the tie, Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
UE which is now at 2-0 is leading the pack so far in the quest for back-to-back crowns.
Veteran Red Netter Rodolfo Barquin carved out a double-bagel win, 6-0, 6-0, against Thomasian sophomore Joel Librodo.
In the second singles match, UE’s Joshua Kinaadman and UST’s Dominic Lanzado engaged in a nip-and-tuck affair in the first set but it was the Red Netter who emerged the victor at 7-5. Come the second set, Kinaadman’s momentum proved to be too much for Lanzado to stop, closing the set at 6-0.
Over at the middle court, Red Netters RJ Saga and Rogelio Estano continued their rampage versus Tiger Tennisters Mark Cabahug and En-En Lopez. UE bagged their third win at 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
By the time RP team member AJ Lim and doubles pair Jeric Delos Santos and Harry Karon took the court, UE already secured their victory in the tie after winning the first three matches but the Red Netters were just unstoppable.
Fresh from national team duty, Lim returned to UAAP and stunned third year player Dave Mosqueda in two sets, 6-3, 6-0.
In the last doubles match, Thomasians Bernlou Bering and Francis Suazo secured the first set, 6-3. However, UE duo Delos Santos and Karon immediately clawed back in the second, 6-3. In the deciding set, Suazo unfortunately cramped up. Struggling to play, they still continued the match but ultimately bowed to UE at 6-2.
In the end UE’s head coach Numero Lim is delighted with how his squad perfected what seemed a rematch of Season 79’s finals.
“Actually, we were surprised nga to give a good quality game today compared last year. We are not expecting eh. Siguro nalaman na namin paano laruin ang UST, kaya mas nag-level up sila sa laro nila against UST today,” Lim shared.
UST settles with their first loss of the season and is now at 2-1.
UE will try to make it 3-0 as it faces the winless University of the Philippines next while UST will seek for a bounce back win versus Ateneo de Manila University, Sunday 8:30AM at the same venue.