Nestea Beach Day 2: UST, La Salle tested; AdU, SWU stay hot
BORACAY, Philippines - The intense action continued in Day 2 the 17th Nestea Beach Volleyball Battle of Champions on Friday, May 2 at the Boracay Island.
Sixteen more intense matches separated the strong contenders from the rest of the field, and only 13 teams kept alive their hopes of copping the elusive title and a chance to represent the nation in the field of beach volleyball.
Almost half of participants are booted out of the competitions as their respective campaigns came to a screeching halt.
Here are the highlights in the tournament's penultimate day.
UST, La Salle tested, stay alive
In the women's division, the University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle University squads both had to go through extensions before staving off elimination with wins over Our Lady of Perpetual Help-Laguna and Jose Maria College, respectively.
UST's duo of Pam Lastimosa and Carmela Tunay bounced back from an opening day loss, although they had to endure extreme heat and fatigue before eking out a 21-16, 14-21, 15-10 victory over Perpetual-Laguna.
"They were moving better than they were yesterday. Although the weather here has really affected the way they play," said UST mentor Emil Lontoc.
Later in the afternoon, De La Salle University's Ara Galang and Kim Fajardo almost blew a golden opportunity in their collision against Jose Maria College's tandem of Venus Flores and Irish Dignadice. Flores complained of pain coming from a pulled muscle in the first set, with La Salle ahead 11-9.
Flores managed to recover and continue playing, but JMC's offense was badly shut down as La Salle romped, 21-11. However, Flores never surrendered and showed immeasurable resilience in the next set, rising to deliver spikes that helped JMC equalize, 21-16.
It was already the third match for JMC in Day 2 alone, who were determined to oust the UAAP-based squad.
But Fajardo had the last laugh, firing decisive hits in the final set to lift La Salle, 15-9. The Taft Avenue spikers previously swept University of Baguio (Florence Madulid/Claridad Mejia) in the morning, 21-7, 21-13.
"Kim and Ara had too many unforced errors in the second set which gave confidence to their opponents. I told them not to relax and take advantage whenever possible," shared DLSU's Noel Orcullo.
SWU, Adamson girls stay hot
Southwestern University and Adamson University kept rolling in the women's division, extending their respective unbeaten streaks to 3 wins apiece.
SWU's youthful tandem of Floremel Rodriguez and Therese Ramas - both newcomers in the league - came from behind to deal the previously undefeated University of St. La Salle-Bacolod (Patty Orendain/Katya Grabato) their first setback via a 21-15, 21-11 win. The Cebu-based squad trailed in the early goings of both sets but managed to regain their deadly form to bag the win.
"They may be small in terms of height but we bettered out defense and they know how to follow the game plan, that's why we are still undefeated," said SWU head coach Ryan Aznar, who lauded the discipline shown by his two athletes.
Adamson's Bang Pineda and Mands Villanueva meanwhile, joined hands anew to rally past University of Mindanao-Tagum's Danna Crisado and Mary Cris Asena, although they had to withstand a gritty showing from their counterparts.
Both Adamson and UMT committed several errors in the neck and neck battle in the second set which went to extension. Villanueva was the one to bail out Adamson anew from the tight exchange as they stayed on top, 21-18, 25-23.
Men's division: UV, USP provide blemish to SWU, MSU
In the men's action however, Southwestern University's Rommel Pepito and Relan Taneo were not able to sustain their good start after University of Visayas' superior combination of Jade Becaldo and Mark Anthony Fernandez grinded out a thrilling 19-21, 21-19, 15-12 triumph.
University of Southern Philippines also put an end to Mindanao State University of Tawi-tawi's inspired run, after the duo of Edward Ybanez and Edward Bonono proved to be too powerful for MSU's Aga Tahiluddin and Nur Amin Madsairi to conquer, 21-15, 21-14.
11 down, 13 alive
In the men's division, only 6 teams are still in contention: University of Visayas (2-0), University of Southern Philippines (2-0), University of Mindanao-Tagum (2-1), College of St. Benilde (2-1), Mindanao State University (2-1), and Southwestern University (2-1).
In the women's division, University of Santo Tomas (1-1)will try to oust three-time defending champion Central Philippines University (1-1) in Day 3's opener, while 5 more teams are vying for the crown: Adamson University (3-0), Southwestern University (3-0), De La Salle University (2-1), University of St. La Salle (2-1), and University of Mindanao-Tagum (2-1).
Here is the complete rundown of all 16 matches in Day 2 of the 2014 Nestea Beach Volley Battle of Champions:
Match 16 (women's) - University of Mindanao-Tagum def. Jose Maria College, 21-18, 21-18.
Match 17 (men's) - University of Mindanao-Tagum def. St. Louis University, 21-14, 21-13.
Match 18 (men's) - National University def. Foundation University, 21-14, 21-18.
Match 19 (men's) - College of St. Benilde def. University of St. La Salle, 21-19, 21-14.
Match 20 (men's) - University of San Jose Recoletos def. First Asian Institute of Technology and Humanity, 21-10, 21-13.
Match 21 (women's) - De La Salle University def. University of Baguio, 21-7, 21-13.
Match 22 (women's) - Jose Maria College def. Mindanao State University, 21-13, 21-12.
Match 23 (women's) - Central Philippines University def. San Sebastian College, 21-11, 21-14.
Match 24 (women's) - University of Santo Tomas def. Our Lady of Perpetual Help-Laguna, 21-16, 14-21, 15-10.
Match 25 (men's) - University of Visayas def. Southwestern University, 19-21, 21-19, 15-12.
Match 26 (men's) - University of Southern Phils. def. Mindanao State University, 21-15, 21-14
Match 27 (men's) - University of Mindanao-Tagum def. National University, 21-17, 21-13.
Match 28 (men's) - College of St. Benilde def. University of San Jose Recoletos, 22-20, 21-12.
Match 29 (women's) - Southwestern University def. University of St. La Salle, 21-15, 21-11.
Match 30 (women's) - Adamson University def. University of Mindanao-Tagum, 21-18, 25-23.
Match 31 (women's) - De La Salle University def. Jose Maria College, 21-11, 16-21, 15-9.
Semifinals and finals action will highlight the final day of the Nestea Beach Volleyball Battle of Champions.