Even after suffering their first set loss of the tournament, the Far Eastern University’s Jude Garcia and Kevin Hadlocon inched closer to an outright Finals berth after sweeping Day 4 of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Beach Volleyball Tournament at the SM Sands By the Bay.
The Tamaraws started their day with a convincing sweep of the University of the East’s Clifford Inoferio and Alven Aljas (21-13, 21-13). Their afternoon was much tighter, but FEU showed their dominant form in the end to quell the Adamson University’s Pao Pablico and Jesus Valdez (21-19, 18-21, 15-6).
Garcia rued their complacency against the Falcons, stressing the need to stay focused to return to the Finals and bring FEU their first title since Season 74.
“Nag-usap lang kami na mag-focus at bumalik sa dating galaw namin. Dapat ‘yung composure namin nandoon pa rin na willing kami manalo. Dapat ipakita namin sa kanila na angat ‘yung laro namin kesa sa kanila,” Garcia emphasized. ‘”Yung third set po, ‘yun talaga ang game namin. Kaso ‘yung unang dalawang set medyo nagkumpiyansa kami.”
The Tamaraws remained on top of the heap with a 5-0 record, which guaranteed them a spot in the Final Four. Taking their next two games will give FEU an outright Finals berth and creates a stepladder scenario for the remaining three Final Four combatants.
Meanwhile, last year’s finalists stayed on pace for a twice-to-beat advantage.
Defending champions Bryan Bagunas and JM Natividad of the National University romped the De La Salle University’s Raprap Sumalinog and Paul Serrano (21-15, 21-17) in the morning, before blitzing University of the Philippines’ Mark Millete and Niccolo Consuelo (21-13, 21-13) in the afternoon.
Last year’s runners-up University of Santo Tomas’ Jaron Requinton and Anthony Arbasto dumped the University of the Philippines (21-16, 21-7) before making short work of UE (21-9, 21-9) to end the day.
Both NU and UST trail FEU with identical 4-1 slates.
The Falcons, on the other hand, stayed in firmly in fourth place with a 3-2 record after beating the Ateneo de Manila University’s Kurt Aguilar and Abai Llenos (21-15, 21-18)
The Blue Eagles nailed their first win of the tournament and kept La Salle winless in day-cap (21-11, 21-19).
Action resumes on Tuesday at the same venue.
UAAP Season 81 Men’s Volleyball Tournament
Standings after Day 4