An upset of sorts
Season hosts University of the East (UE) Warriors pummeled the struggling University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons, 5-0, to tie their victims in fourth place, Sunday, February 8, at Olivarez College Tennis Center in Parañaque City.
Maroons rookie Mikko Ringia played once again instead of injured Jorou Librodo. However, it was the UE veteran Rogelio Estaño who won the game, 6-4 7-5. The match was too tight as both Ringia and Estaño traded runs. The Red Warrior was able to take the upper hand as he managed to break the UP serve on most occasions.
The doubles matches were the turning point of the day as the declining play of the Maroons was attributed to the performance of its otherwise strong tandems. Red and White’s Rolly Saga and Jeleardo Amazona swept Franklin Encarnacion and GBoy Mariano, 6-2 6-2. The Maroons’ tandem has yet to get back their bearings as UE was able to counter their service. Saga and Amazona were able to patrol the net well as they produced excellent points from the area.
The veteran team-up of Paolo Baran and Menrado Soriano stood strong against the tandem of graduating Miggy Belda and Ique Ferrer, 6-4 6-3. Both doubles teams were able to keep up with the other but it was UE who took the lead as they managed to break the erratic Belda serve, which was impeccable until lately. The Maroons were able to capitalize on a few chances on a good service game, but the senior Warriors walked away with the win in straight sets.
UP captain Joshua Miranda was able to dictate the pace early on in the second singles match. However, Red Warrior senior Rodolfo Barquin had an answer to the power of the Maroon veteran. Barquin went on to return even the most improbable shot. Miranda won the first set in a tiebreak, 7-6(5). UE continued to frustrate UP in the following sets, 6-2 6-3, as the Warriors piled on the rout.
Rookie Joshua Kinaadman played like a veteran as he was able to sweep UP veteran Angelo Esguerra, 6-1 6-4. Kinaadman controlled the otherwise strong forehand of the Maroon stalwart. UE continued to answer every run by Esguerra in that tight second set.
With the win, UE was able to tie UP in the fourth spot with similar 3-5 records.
UE hopes to follow up on this victory as the Red Warriors take on the winless Ateneo de Manila University, Saturday, February 14 at the same venue. UP will have their hands full as they try to put a dent against NU in a rematch of last season’s Finals, also on Saturday.