THE UNIVERSITY of the East Red Warriors are a win away from the UAAP Season 79 men’s lawn tennis title following a 3-1 rout against the UST Male Tennisters at the Rizal Memorial Stadium Saturday.
After losing the first singles match, the Red Warriors swept all of their remaining three matches to draw first blood in the best-of-three series.
UE duo RJ Saga and Rogelio Estano Jr. outmuscled UST’s Clarence Cabahug and En-En Lopez, 6-3, 6-4, before Red Warrior Alberto Lim Jr. trounced Dave Mosqueda, 6-2, 6-2.
Paulo Baran and Jeric delos Santos survived UST’s Bernlou Bering and Joel Cabusas, 7-5, 0-6, 6-3, to deliver UE’s third straight win of the day.
UST’s lone victory came from Nico Lanzado’s 7-6, 6-3 manhandling of Red Warrior Joshua Kinaadman.
“We started good but came up short,” UST coach Alexander Diego told the Varsitarian. “We will adjust lineups and game plans for Game 2.”
Diego added that the pressure and excitement brought by being in the finals took its toll on the players since they finished fifth last season.
The Male Tennister will try to extend the series as they face UE again in Game 2 on March 22, Wednesday, 8 a.m., at the same venue.