MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas (UST) kicked off its bid for a second straight crown with two victories in the UAAP Season 82 men's beach volleyball tournament on Sunday at the Sands SM By The Bay.
Last year's Rookie of the Year winner Jaron Requinton and Rancel Varga edged National University's (NU) James Natividad and James Buytrago, 21-15, 18-21, 16-14, in a thrilling opener, before returning in the afternoon session with a 21-10, 21-18 conquest of University of the East's (UE) Jake Abria and Lloyd Josafat.
Requinton, who was paired with Krung Arbasto in last season's championship run, is trying to connect well with Varga as the season progresses.
"Konting kilala pa po sa isa't isa. First time ko siyang partner kasi usually si Efraim Dimaculangan ang partner. Konting adjustment sa pa sa court," said Requinton.
Far Eastern University's (FEU) Jude Garcia and Kevin Hadlocon posted the lone straight set win in the men's morning session, as the last year's runners-up overcame a flat start to defeat Adamson University's Leo Miranda and Jesus Valdez, 21-17, 21-13.
The Tams then dodged a bullet in the afternoon game, nipping University of the Philippines' (UP) Niccolo Consuelo and rookie Louis Gamban, 21-13, 15-21, 15-12.
The Tamaraws joined the Growling Tigers on top at 2-0.
NU rebounded from the season-opening loss to UST with a 21-17, 22-20 victory over Ateneo de Manila University's Abai Llenos and Kurt Aguilar, while Adamson's Miranda and Valdez also evened their record to 1-1 following a 21-13, 18-21, 15-7 decision over De La Salle University's Vince Maglinao and Ian Jumandos.
In other morning matches that also went into distance, UE's Abria and Josafat nipped Ateneo's Llenos and Aguilar, 21-11, 12-21, 15-11, while UP's Consuelo and Gamban outlasted La Salle's Maglinao and Jumandos, 21-18, 14-21, 15-13.
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