UAAP beach volleyball: NU stuns defending champion UST
MANILA, Philippines — National University’s James Buytrago and Pol Salvador took down defending champions Efraem Dimaculangan and Rancel Varga of University of Santo Tomas, 12-21, 21-17, 15-12, in the UAAP Season 84 men’s beach volleyball tournament on Friday at Sands SM By The Bay Friday.
Buytrago, a former men’s national beach volleyball team member and a bronze medalist in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, refused to go down with his partner, Salvador after losing the opening set to the three-peat-seeking Tiger Spikers.
The pair from NU fought back from a 5-8 deficit in the deciding third set, scoring five straight points for a 10-8 lead. UST was able to restore the order as Dimaculangan’s block tied the game 11-all, but a service error from his teammate Varga and a spike and block of Buytrago put the Bulldogs at match point, 14-11.
Dimaculangan saved a point for the Tiger Spikers only for Salvador to close out the thrilling game with a kill as the Bulldogs earned their first win after two matches in the opening return of UAAP beach volleyball after three years.
NU started its campaign with a 1-1 record, bouncing back from a shocking defeat to La Salle’s Noel Kampton and Vince Maglinao, 21-12, 15-21, 11-15, earlier.
UST, which eyes its third straight championship, started its title-retention campaign off the wrong foot. Jaron Requinton, who recently won his second SEA Games bronze medal in Hanoi, Vietnam last week, was listed as the school’s third player and can be activated anytime in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Ateneo and La Salle took the early 2-0 lead in the tournament with the former making waves after a winless campaign in 2019.
Ateneo’s Abai Llenos and Amil Pacinio swept Far Eastern University’s Jelord Talisayan and Vincent Nadera, 21-15, 21-15, and Adamson University’s Ned Pacquing and Francis Casas, 21-19, 21-14, for a perfect 2-0 record.
Green Spikers’ Kampton and Maglinao also made a rousing UAAP debut after upsetting NU and foiling University of the Philippines’ Daniel Nicolas and Louis Gamban, 21-19, 21-11.
UP’s Gamban and Nicolas also split their first two matches following a 21-15, 21-11 win over Adamson in the morning session.
Action resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday with FEU-Adamson, UST-UP, and Ateneo-De La Salle in the morning session, and NU-UP, FEU-De La Salle, and UST-Ateneo in the afternoon play starting at 1 p.m.
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