UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas’ (UST) Sisi Rondina and Babylove Barbon made quick work of University of the Philippines’ (UP) Isa Molde and Justine Dorog, 21-12, 21-12, to open its women’s three-peat bid on a smashing note in the UAAP Season 81 beach volleyball tournament on Monday at Sands SM By The Bay.
But reigning men’s champion National University (NU) dropped its season opener, as Far Eastern University’s (FEU) Jude Garcia and Kevin Hadlocon stunned the fancied pair of Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad, 25-23, 21-17.
In her final year, Rondina has Barbon as new partner – the fourth in her collegiate career – but the two performed liked as if they played together for a long time.
A rookie who hails from Bukidnon, Barbon was solid on both ends of the sand court to compliment three-time MVP Rondina.
The Tigresses are most successful squad in the sport with five crowns, three of which Rondina won with different pairs. The Compostela, Cebu native hopes to cap her UAAP stint as a winner for UST.
The Lady Tamaraws, last season’s second placers to the Tigresses, were not as fortunate in their opener.
De La Salle University’s Tin Tiamzon and Michelle Morente overcame a second set meltdown to beat FEU’s Ivana Agudo and Marianne Calinawan, 21-14, 20-22, 15-10, NU’s Klymince Orilleneda and Antonnete Landicho topped Ateneo’s Ponggay Gaston and Jules Samonte, 21-11, 21-14, while Adamson University’s Hannah Nicole Infante and Gracelchen Ave prevailed over University of the East’s Rhea Manalo and Lyen Shan Ritual, 21-14, 21-15
The back-to-back seeking Bulldogs fell by wayside, as the Tamaraws, last year’s third placers, used their court smarts to prevail.
In other men’s morning matches, UST’s Krung Arbasto and Jaron Requinton beat Ateneo’s Kurt Aguilar and Abai Llenos, 21-11, 21-14, Adamson University’s Pao Pablico and Jesus Valdez bested UP’s Nico Consuelo and Mac Millete, 24-22, 21-14, while UE’s Clifford Inoferio and Alven Aljas tripped De La Salle’s Geraint Bacon and Raprap Sumalinog, 21-19, 21-16.