University of Santo Tomas opens its quest for another golden double in the UAAP Season 82 Beach Volleyball tournament Sunday at Sands SM By The Bay.
Ushering the post-Sisi Rondina era, the Tigresses will set in motion their bid for a fourth consecutive crown against University of the Philippines at 10:40 a.m.
UST, on the other hand, begins its back-to-back men's title bid against National University in an early showdown of favorites at 8 a.m., before returning in the afternoon session with a 1:20 p.m. duel against University of the East.
Babylove Barbon, last season's top rookie, will have Gen Eslapor as her new partner.
Setting its sights for a record seventh championship overall, UST will have to do without Rondina, who has already completed her checkered collegiate career in the sand court.
In her five years with the Tigresses, four-time MVP Rondina gave her school four titles.
A perennial contender in the highly-popular Beach Volleyball Republic On Tour and among the Philippine representatives in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Boracay Open 1-Star last May, Barbon and Eslapor are looking good to continue UST's dominance in the sport. Derie Virtusio will be the third player.
Jaron Requinton, who with Krung Arbasto put the Growling Tigers back in the throne last year, will have Efraem Dimaculangan as his partner.
De La Salle hopes to give UST a run for its money behind Tin Tiamzon and rookie Justine Jazareno. The Lady Spikers will play their season opener versus the Lady Bulldogs at 11:20 a.m.
Together with Michelle Morente, Tiamzon led De La Salle to a runner-up finish last year.
The Lady Maroons will have a brand new set of players, with Rosie Rosier, Euricka Eslapor and alternate Noreen Estrellanes hoping to sustain their podium finishes that Isa Molde, Justin Dorog and Tots Carlos gave in the last two years.
In other season-opening matches, Ateneo, with Ponggay Gaston and rookie Roma Mae Doromal in tow, goes up against Far Eastern University at 12 noon, before Adamson University and UE caps the first day of women's action at 12:40 p.m.
Seeking to rebound from last year's third place finish, the Bulldogs will bank on James Natividad and James Buytrago.
UST and NU are tied for the most number of men's titles with four.
The Bulldogs' other opening day opponent will be Ateneo at 2:40 p.m.
FEU's Jude Garcia and Doy Barrica will be one of the Tigers' biggest threats for the crown as the last season's second placers tackle Adamson University at 8:40 a.m. and UP at 2 p.m.
Other men's morning matches are UE-Ateneo at 9:20 a.m. and UP-De La Salle at 10 a.m., while Adamson University-De La Salle will round up opening day action at 3:20 p.m.
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