MANILA, Philippines – The University of Santo Tomas (SUT) continues to dominate in the UAAP Season 77 beach volleyball tournament as its women's and men's squads moved to within a win of nailing outright Finals berths Saturday at the UE Caloocan sand court.
Cebu natives Cherry Rondina and Rica Rivera kept the Tigresses unbeaten in six matches by beating Jaja Santiago and Fatima General of National University (NU), 21-15, and 21-13.
The Growling Tigers also remained perfect in men's play as veterans Mark Alfafara and Kris Roy Guzman subdued Gregorio Dolor and Rikko Marmeto of Far Eastern University (FEU), 21-18 and 21-12.
UST can advance to the championship outright with a thrice-to-beat incentive if they beat their next assignments in the women's and men's divisions at the end of the single round robin eliminations on Sunday.
De La Salle University's Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo, meanwhile, moved to within a win of securing a semi-finals berth as the Lady Spikers roared from a set down to edge FEU's Bernadette Pons and Charm Simborio, 17-21, 21-19, and 15-12.
Amanda Villanueva and Marleen Cortel of Adamson, meanwhile, routed University of the Philippines's (UP) Arylle Magtalas and Hannah Mangulabnan, 21-9 and 21-14, to boost their own semi-final hopes.
La Salle moved to second place with a 4-1 win-loss record, while Adamson notched its fourth win in six matches to take the third spot.
The Lady Tamaraws dropped to a 3-3 card in fourth place, half a game ahead of the fifth running Lady Bulldogs (2-4) -- and a full game ahead of the Lady maroons (2-4).
In a battle of already eliminated squads, University of the East halted a five-game slide as Krysel Cueva and Francislyn Cais surprised Michelle Morente and Jhona Maraguinot of Ateneo, 21-18 and 21-19.
The Lady Eagles, third placers last season, are the lone winless team as they fell to a 0-5 slate.
In other men's matches, the Bulldogs clinched the second semi-finals berth by whipping La Salle, 21-14 and 21-10, for a 5-1 card, while the Falcons zeroed in on a slot in the next round with a 21-15 and 21-13 win over Ateneo to improve to 4-1.
The Red Warriors entered the win column after five straight losses by beating UP, 21-16, and 26-24.