MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas completed a beach volleyball sweep as its teams ran away with the UAAP Season 82 championship in the men and women’s divisions on Sunday, October 6 at Sands SM By The Bay.
UST’s Babylove Barbon and Gen Eslapor withstood the tough De La Salle pair of Tin Tiamzon and Justine Jazareno in the Finals to complete another perfect season and a women's four-peat.
The Tigresses claimed their seventh women's championship and the first in the post-Sisi Rondina era.
Barbon, who had to fill a huge void left by Rondina to cement the Tigresses' dynasty, bagged the MVP award.
"Sobrang saya kasi ‘yung goal namin ay ma-defend ang crown. Nagawa po namin siya. Inalay po namin yung game sa UST, sa mga taong naniniwala sa amin at lalong lalo na kay ate Sisi," said Barbon.
"Ilang din years siyang nag-champion kaya ayaw naming mabigo siya. Iniwan niya ang team na laging nagcha-champion kaya kailangan naming ituloy na laging champion," the Quezon, Bukidnon native added.
(I’m very happy because our goal is to defend the crown and we did it. We offered the game to UST, to everyone who believed in us, especially to Sisi. She’s a champion for several years, so we didn’t want to fail her. She left this team as a champion, so we want to continue that.)
UST survived a gallant De La Salle stand in the extended opening set and withstood its foes late in the 2nd frame to fashion out a 28-26, 21-18 victory and emerge as queens once more.
"Sobrang galing din nila po (They’re also very good),” said Barbon of the Lady Spikers, the bridesmaids for the second straight year.
No doubt, Barbon and Eslapor's connection worked wonders for the Tigresses, who extended their winning run to 29 games dating back from 2016.
Roma Mae Doromal, who with Ponggay Gaston powered Ateneo to 3rd place, took the Rookie of the Year honors.
UST’s Rancel Varga and Jaron Requinton completed a 10-0 campaign, sweeping Far Eastern University's Jude Garcia and Doy Barrica in the men's championship round.
The Tiger Spikers won their second straight crown, dominating the Tamaraws with an easy 21-11, 21-11 win in Game 1 before closing out with a 21-15, 21-19 victory.
"Consistent ang ipinakita namin ni Jaron hanggang dulo. Iniaalay namin ito sa UST, kay God, at sa family namin sa sumusuporta at sa mga coaches," said Varga, who was named the season MVP.
(Jaron and I played consistently until the end. We’re offering this win to UST, to God, to our families who supported us, and to our coaches.)
Varga praised the Tiger Spikers' former champions Krung Arbasto and KR Guzman for keeping the faith.
"Para sa kanila din dito. Palagi po kaming gina-guide. Tinuturuan po kami kung ano ang tactics, kung ano ang technique sa paglalaro ng beach volleyball," said Varga.
(This win is also for them. They always guide us. They teach us different tactics and techniques.)
UST thus annexed a league-best fifth diadem.
National University's James Natividad and James Buytrago outlasted Adamson University's Leo Miranda and Jesus Valdez, 22-20, 15-21, 15-9, to claim 3rd place.
The Rookie of the Year honors went to Buytrago. – Rappler.com