A milestone for the program.
University of the East (UE) Red Warriors took the season hosts’ fifth team trophy as they smothered De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Netters, 5-0, in the virtual battle-for-third at the close of the eliminations, Sunday, February 15, at Olivarez College Tennis Center.
Graduating senior and former Rookie of the Year (ROY) Alvee Villamor started strong for DLSU as he pummelled rookie Jeleardo Amazona in the first set, 6-1. However, the newbie Warrior was able to equalize with a second set win, 6-2. It was the patient play of the UE rookie that was pivotal in the match as that what secured him the win in the tight third set, 6-4, and the first match for his team.
Freshman Joshua Kinaadman made his case for the ROY stronger as he swept another outgoing La Sallian Estoy Pantua, 6-2 6-0. The UE rookie was able to dictate the match as he was able to mix good service game and returns. He also forced the former UAAP champion Pantua to commit several errors in crucial stages of the match.
The veteran tandem of Paolo Baran and Menrado Soriano continued their solid form as a team as they crushed Akio Sy and Dale Gorospe, 6-3 6-1. The Red Warriors were able to play well on service and patrolled the net well as they limited the La Salle duo to a few points, most of them just from their own errors.
Rogelio Estaño and Rolly Saga continue the UE onslaught as they dominated Kyle Parpan and Qoqo Allian, 6-1 6-3. The Red and White pair also played a similar game to the other doubles duo and dictated the pace. Errors from Allian and Parpan made it even harder for any DLSU comeback.
UE sophomore Rodolfo Barquin started well as he upended his La Sallian batchmate player LA Canizares, 6-3, with his usual patient play and strong defense. Canizares would keep the Green Archers afloat as he was able to string up the points to tie the match at the same score line. In a tight third set though, Barquin completed the rout for the Red Warriors as he took the decider 6-4.
With the win, UE clinched their first podium finish in years after languishing in the cellar for long. The loss brought DLSU down to another fifth place finish. La Salle and University of the Philippines were tied at 4-6 win-loss record but the Maroons ended up fourth due to a higher sets won in the two ties the two played.