UAAP: La Salle foils NU, bags tennis crown
MANILA, Philippines—A steadfast Ernesto Pantua starred in the deciding singles as La Salle clipped the tenacious National University, 3-2, to capture the UAAP men’s tennis championship Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
Pantua rose from a set down in the decider over NU’s Leander Lazaro, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, following the La Salle victories delivered by Most Valuable Player Michael Basco and Alberto Villamor in the first two singles matches.
“Lazaro was unbeaten the whole season,” said La Salle coach Roland Kraut of the NU standout who bagged the Rookie of the Year honors.
The championship was the seventh overall men’s crown for La Salle.
Basco picked up the opening singles win via a 6-0, 6-0 shutout of Tim Polero, before the Bulldogs leveled it with Michael Madrio and Fritz Verdad downing Pemrik Alina and Kyle Cordero, 7-6 (3), 6-1, in the first doubles.
The Archers took the lead when Villamor outclassed Al Khady Jainul, 6-4, 6-2, in the second singles, but NU came back again to level it with Dheo Talatayod and Wilson Oblea tripping Ed Amor and Fidel Regis, 6-4, 6-3, in the second doubles.
“We overachieved,” NU coach Karl Santamaria said of his Bulldogs.