MANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas foiled La Salle’s bid for a perfect season as the Tigresses forged a do-or-die showdown in the UAAP women’s tennis finals Friday at the Rizal Tennis Center.
Zaza Paulino dominated in the deciding singles to lift the Tigresses to a 3-2 victory over the Lady Archers, who just needed one win to capture a third straight crown.
The Lady Archers own a twice-to-beat advantage in the championship round as an incentive for sweeping the six-game eliminations.
Paulino overwhelmed La Salle’s Enah Baba, 6-2, 6-1, to complete the Tigresses comeback after the UST duo of Macy Gonzales and April Santos leveled the match, 2-2, by outlasting Kirstie Barraquias and Trudy Amoranto, 7-6 (7), 3-6, 6-2, in the second doubles.
The Lady Archers, though, will try to recover from their first loss this season in the knockout finale at 9 a.m. on Sunday.
Most Valuable Player Reggie Santiago got the Lady Archers to a typically strong start by drubbing Hazel Grecia, 6-0, 6-2, in the first singles.
The Tigresses responded with Dianne Bautista and Jhie Helar demolishing Aira Putiz and Nadine Castillo, 6-1, 6-0. in the first doubles, before the Lady Archers moved within a win of a title with Martina Guba downing Len-len Santos, 6-1, 6-1, in the second singles.
In women’s volleyball, Ateneo tries to pull off another upset over defending champion La Salle in Game 2 of their championship match at 2 p.m. Saturday at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Eagles snapped the Lady Archers’ 14-game winning run with a thrilling 23-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17 victory in the title opener last Wednesday.
But to wrest the crown, the Lady Eagles need to overhaul the thrice-to-beat advantage the Lady Archers earned for sweeping the eliminations.
Far Eastern University and UST, meanwhile, kick off the best-of-three title series in the men’s side at 10 a.m.