MANILA, Philippines – The University of Santo Tomas (UST) pair of Babylove Barbon and Gen Eslapor scored a quick 21-11, 21-6 win over University of the Philippines' (UP) Rosie Rosier and Euricka Eslapor for a smashing start in the UAAP Season 82 women's beach volleyball tournament Sunday at Sands SM By The Bay.
The Tigresses are seeking their fourth straight women's beach volleyball crown to extend their dynasty in the post-Sisi Rondina era.
Barbon and Eslapor are still tipped to win it all, even after the graduation of Rondina who won four beach volleyball titles during a her highly successful collegiate sand court stint.
"Kung ano ang experience na nakuha namin sa mga off-season leagues, 'yun ang ina-apply namin," said Barbon, the Quezon, Bukidnon native who along with Eslapor represented the Philippines in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 1-Star in Boracay last May.
Also enjoying a winning start is the De La Salle University pair of Tin Tiamzon and rookie Justine Jazareno, who overpowered National University's Andrea Abian and Chlea dela Fuente, 21-11, 21-4.
Far Eastern University's Sheila Mae Kiseo bucked cramps late in the third set, helping Sheena Gallentes to a 22-20, 17-21, 15-12 conquest of Ateneo de Manila University's Ponggay Gaston and rookie Roma Mae Doromal.
Adamson University's Kring Uy and Chen Ave rallied from a set down to beat University of the East's Lyen Ritual and returning Juliet Catindig, 13-21, 21-13, 15-7, in the last match.
Unlike in the previous years where a team that completes a 7-0 sweep in the elimination round will gain an outright championship, the undefeated team will now go through the Final Four. The unbeaten team, though, will still have the twice-to-beat advantage in the semis by finishing No. 1 in the elims.
The championship round is a best-of-three series.
Action resumes on Wednesday with eight matches, four in the morning and four in the afternoon, starting at 8 a.m. at the same Mall of Asia sand court.
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