UM-Tagum upends UST, gains beach volley semisBy Romina S. Austria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
BORACAY, Aklan—Two points away from being relegated to the losers’ bracket, University of Mindanao-Tagum watched University of Santo Tomas self-destruct yesterday to gain the first semifinals seat in the women’s division of the 15th Nestea Beach Volleyball National Finals here.
In men’s play, UM-T also made the Final Four and will collide for a finals seat against two-time NCAA champion Arellano University today.
UM-T’s Lourdilyn Catubag and Karen Kay Quilario outlasted UST’s Maru Banaticla and Judy Ann Caballero, 22-24, 21-15, 16-14.
The Mindanao leg winner UM-T will take on defending national champion Central Philippine University-Iloilo in today’s semifinals. CPU stopped Luzon winner De La Salle University-Dasmariñas, 21-10, 21-13.
UST led 13-12 but failed to convert on its service game. After wresting the advantage anew, 14-13, Catubag delivered a power smash that landed way over Caballero’s reach. The UM-T duo then converted on two net points off UST’s faltering defense to move closer to surpassing its third-place finish in the 2009 Finals.
Catubag, an incoming Criminology senior, said they were not intimidated by UST, the reigning UAAP titlist.
“We were nervous but we knew it could be done because we prepared just as hard as the other teams,” said the 20-year-old Catubag. “Karen and I have been playing together for three years, so our teamwork really showed.”
Against CPU, Catubag knows they are in for a tough match.
“CPU is really a strong team, even if Jovelyn Gonzaga has a new partner (Fiola Mae Ceballos) now,” said Catubag. “But we are prepared for them.”
UST, being the NCR topnotcher, gained another chance to make the women’s Final Four. It was playing either Southwestern University and DLSU-Manila at presstime.
UM-T’s Daryl Lapiz and Jefty Amora bested Joel Villonson Jr. and Edmar Flores of Holy Cross of Davao College, 17-21, 21-15, 16-14, while Arellano’s John Carlo Lozada and Chris Salvador advanced with a 21-16, 21-16 triumph over UAAP champion Far Eastern U’s Arvin Avila and Karl Dela Calzada.
The other two men’s semifinals slots will be disputed by the winner of the University of Visayas-FEU and University of San Jose-Recoletos-Holy Cross duels ongoing at presstime.
The National Finals champion will take home P100,000 while the runner-up will settle for P65,000. The third placer gets P35,000.