Title showdown is set at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 5 as James Buytrago of NU and Jaron Requinton of UST, teammates in the national beach volleyball squad, face each other on the opposing sides.
Requinton and Rancel Varga, the reigning Most Valuable Player, made quick work of De La Salle’s Noel Kampton and Vince Maglinao to move on the cusp of their third straight UAAP title and sixth overall in the sands.
Buytrago and Pol Salvador, for their part, handily defeated University of the Philippines’ duo of Louis Gamban and Dan Nicolas, 21-12, 21-15, to clinch their first Finals berth since 2017.
“All out na ang laro bukas,” said Buytrago. “Parehong mataas ang preparation at parehas kaming nag-national team ni Jaron. Lakas nang loob at dedication na ang makikita ng lahat bukas.
“Pag-aaralin pa rin namin ang laro nila kasi alam namin ‘di nila basta-basta ibibigay ang gold. Sila ang defending champion kaya dedepensahan nila ‘yon Kaya mas gagalingan pa namin at ilalaban namin kung ano mga pinaghandaan namin,” he added.
James Buytrago and Pol Salvador of NU Bulldogs (UAAP Media Bureau)
Five years ago, the Bulldogs, then led by former MVP Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad, bested the Tigers’ pair of KR Guzman and Krung Arbasto, who were also both ex-MVPs, for their fourth UAAP crown.
Still, the Tigers, who won back-to-back titles in the last two seasons before the Covid-19 pandemic, remained the winningest team in the sands with five championships.
UP and De La Salle will clash in the battle for third at 9 a.m.
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