THE UST Lady Tennisters trampled the Ateneo de Manila University to advance to the finals while their male counterparts are a win away from playing for the title in the UAAP lawn tennis tournament at the Rizal Memorial Stadium Saturday.
The Lady Tennisters made quick work of the Lady Eagles, 4-1, to book their third straight finals appearance while the Male Tennisters have to win one of their remaining two assignments to advance in the finals despite edging the Blue Eagles, 3-2.
Precian Rivera survived a hard-fought battle against Ateneo’s Khrizelle Sampaton, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, as teammate Erika Manduriao followed suit with a 6-1, 6-0 rout of Rocio Clement.
UST’s duo of Lennelyn Milo-Marie Ann San Jose and Shymae Gitalan-Ingrid Gonzales punctuated the day with back-to-back wins in the doubles category.
Only Immaville Gervacio dropped a match for the Lady Tennisters as she faltered against Lady Eagle Jana Pages, 3-6, 2-6.
“I’m happy with how the girls played today. Coming from a loss, they were eager to win again,” Lady Tennisters head coach Dennis Sta. Cruz told the Varsitarian. “It’s a good finish sa second round to keep the morale high going into the finals.”
In men’s play, Male Tennister Nico Lanzado secured the win for UST as Ateneo’s Luke Flores was forced to retire after succumbing to fatigue and cramps, 6-3, 3-6, 1-4.
UST’s En-En Lopez and Dave Mosqueda both dropped their singles matches but its two doubles teams racked up back-to-back sweeps.
Joel Cabusas and Bernlou Bering crushed Ateneo pair Erj Gatdula and AJ Rivero, 6-1, 6-4, while the Male Tennister duo of Clarence Cabahug and Warren Lagahit pulled off a 6-3, 6-4 manhandling of Anton Punzalan and Julian Dayrit.
Should the Male Tennisters defeat either the University of the East or the National University, they will secure a spot in the finals. If NU loses to Ateneo tomorrow, the Male Tennisters are assured of a finals appearance even if they do not win either of their remaining two games.
The Male Tennisters will face the undefeated UE squad tomorrow, 8 a.m., at the same venue.