The UST Male Tennisters will play in a do-or-die Game 3 after falling short against the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 3-2, in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 men's tennis finals at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex on Saturday, April 6. (Photo by Josh Nikkolai S. Bravo/ The Varsitarian)

THE UST Male Tennisters stumbled against the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 3-2, in Game 2 of their best-of-three finals series in the UAAP Season 86 men’s tennis tournament at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Court on Saturday, April 6.

Ateneo tied the series, forcing a Game 3 that will start tomorrow at the same venue, April 7, at 7:30 a.m.

In the first doubles match, UST’s duo of Richard Bautista and Nash Agustines succumbed to Blue Eagles Nio Tria and Season 86 Rookie of the Year Axl Gonzaga, 6-2, 6-1.

Male Tennister Ericjay Tangub tied the match after toppling Austin de los Santos, 6-3, 6-1.

Ateneo’s Noy Seno completed a come-from-behind win against Season 86 MVP Nilo Ledama, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 to give the Blue Eagles a 2-1 lead.

With Ateneo one game away from sealing the deal, Male Tennisters Steven Sonsona and Symon Jaculan forced a decider after a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 escape of Blue Eagles JJ Llavore and Stef Gurria.

However, Sebastian Santos faltered against JD Velez in the decider, 6-4, 6-4.

“Hindi siya sa nagkulang kami, ready naman sila pero merong time talaga na papangit ‘yong laro mo,” UST head coach Alexander Diego told the Varsitarian. “Maganda rin ‘yong nilaro ng kalaban kaya we’ll see tomorrow.”

The UST Male Tennisters are eyeing their 16th championship, while the Ateneo Blue Eagles are aiming to snap their 23-year title drought.