Nestea Beach finals: La Salle serves revenge to bag women's crown
MANILA, Philippines - Adamson University had it in the bag, before De La Salle University decided to take it away in the end.
De La Salle University clawed back from a stinging opening day defeat and romped in the final two days of competition to emerge as the newest queens of the 17th Nestea Beach Volleyball Battle of Champions on Saturday, May 3 in Boracay Island.
With their backs against the wall, the Taft-based duo of Victonara Galang and Kim Fajardo fought neck and neck, breathing fire to shock Adamson University's Bang Pineda and Mands Villanueva, 15-21, 21-14, 17-15 in the championship match to bag the national crown.
La Salle did not only avenge their Day 1 defeat against the same squad, but also gained a chance to represent the Philippine national beach volleyball crew after stunning the previously undefeated Adamson squad.
La Salle struggled in the first set as Adamson rifled powerful hits for a 21-15 opener, although DLSU bettered their performance in the second set to equalize the count against the San Marcelino spikers.
Adamson, the UAAP beach volleyball titlists, recovered their winning form in the early stages of the third set, rolling with a 6-point edge as they seemed headed for celebration.
But La Salle had enough in its tank to mount comeback.
Down 6-12 in the final set, the defiant La Salle crew showcased their fighting heart, rising with resilience in front of a packed crowd. Galang and Fajardo nailed the telling hits to knot the count at 15-all, while miscues from Villanueva and Pineda allowed DLSU to complete the resounding rally.
DLSU received P100,000 ($2,347.70) while AdU will bag home runner-up honors and a 65,000-peso incentive. The youthful Southwestern University tandem of Floremel Rodriguez and Therese Ramas meanwhile took home 3rd place honors.
Adamson previously conquered then defending three-time champions Central Philippines Colleges (Valerie Amar/Fiola Ceballos) in the semifinals earlier, 21-14, 22-20 while La Salle had to oust both University of Mindanao-Tagum, 21-8, 21-16, and Southwestern University, 21-17, 21-18.
Visayas continues men's volleyball reign
Reigning men's champions University of Visayas were booted out of the semifinals, but handed over their throne to another Visayas-based crew as the region continued their beach volleyball dominance.
University of Southern Philippines' Edward Ybanez and Edmar Bonono went unscathed in three days of intense action to reign supreme in the men's finals, sweeping a stubborn University of Mindanao-Tagum composed of Hachaliah Gilbuena and Jhonrel Amora 21-14, 21-12.
University of Visayas' duo of Jade Becaldo and Mark Anthony Fernandez settled for the bronze.
At total of 24 teams - 12 each in the men's and women's division - battled for beach volleyball supremacy but only two stood tall in the finale. – Rappler.com