MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas ruled the UAAP men’s beach volleyball tournament for the third straight season following a 28-26, 21-15 conquest of National University on Sunday, June 5 at Sands SM By The Bay.
The Tiger Spikers remained as the league’s winningest squad with six titles but had to withstand a tough Bulldogs challenge in the opening set.
UST took the extended first set on a Rancel Varga go-ahead kill that broke a 26-26 stalemate and a big Jaron Requinton block on Pol Salvador.
The Tigers raced to a 7-2 second-set lead and later pulled away by scoring four straight points for a 16-9 advantage on a Requinton ace.
Playing in front of his family and friends who flew all the way from Cebu over the weekend, Varga was named the tournament MVP for the second straight season.
“The MVP is just a bonus. Our goal is really to win the championship, the three-peat,” Varga said in Filipino.
“I’m very happy because my family is here and they witnessed what we worked hard for the past years,” he added.
A two-time Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist, Requinton was able to get the job done after he was fielded at the end of the eliminations to boost UST’s title-retention bid.
“It was challenging because I was a defender for the national team, but when I entered the training bubble in UST, I needed to adjust as a blocker,” Requinton said in Filipino.
Requinton, who was listed as third player, praised Efraem Dimaculangan for teaming up with Varga and helping the Tigers win four of the first five matches.
La Salle earlier carved out a 21-17, 21-17 win over University of the Philippines to secure the bronze medal.
It was the Green Spikers’ best-ever finish in the event, with Noel Kampton winning the Rookie of the Year honors. – Rappler.com