Nestea Finals: USPF, La Salle seize beach volley crowns
BORACAY—University of Southern Philippines Foundation swept its four matches to take the men’s title while De La Salle University broke Visayas’ stranglehold in the women’s division as the 17th Nestea Beach Volleyball national championship came to a close here Saturday.
USPF’s Edward Ybanez and Edmar Bonono capped their dominant finish by downing University of Mindanao-Tagum’s Hachaliah Gilbuena and Jhonrel Amora, 21-14, 21-12, to seize the top prize of P100,000.
La Salle’s Kim Fajardo and Ara Galang, playing together in beach volleyball for the first time, came from behind to outlast reigning UAAP champion Adamson University’s Shiela Pineda and Amanda Villanueva, 15-21, 21-14, 17-15, for the women’s title.
The runner-up teams pocketed P65,000 each.
On their way to the title, USPF first beat UMT in the eliminations, 21-14, 21-13, and another Mindanao squad, Mindanao State University-Tawi Tawi, 21-15, 21-14, to automatically clinch a semifinal seat. In the Final Four, USPF stopped fellow Cebuanos Romel Pepito and Relan Taneo of Southwestern University, 21-14, 21-11.
“We have several beach volleyball tournaments in Cebu, that’s why we had lots of training prior to this tournament,” said USPF coach Cecil Jototot, whose wards never allowed UMT to come within five points.
“We came here prepared and we’re happy all our hard work paid off.”
A pair of errors by Adamson gave La Salle the win as the Lady Archers came back from a 5-12 deficit in the third set to tie the match at 13, mostly behind Galang’s attacks.
“My girls just never gave up,” said La Salle coach Noel Orcullo. “This is their first year together and also Galang’s first ever beach volleyball event.”
Adamson came within match point at 14-13 after a Villanueva smash but Fajardo sliced the UAAP champions’ defense with a smash while Galang added another point as La Salle regained the lead, 15-14.
Villanueva tied the match anew at 15 but her service hit the net while Pineda’s shot went out of bounds for the final score.
University of the Visayas, the men’s champion the last two years, settled for third place and P35,000 after toppling SWU, 21-19, 21-15.
SWU’s women’s team placed third with a 21-18, 21-14 win over 2011-13 winners Central Philippines University.
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