DE La Salle’s Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo rallied in the final set of Game 2 to turn back Far Eastern University’s Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza, 21-16, 26-23, and capture their first-ever women’s crown in the 78th University Athletic Association of the Philippines beach volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Sands by the Bay.
The Lady Green Spikers fought back from a 3-7 deficit and banked on the plays of Fajardo, who scored two of three crucial points in the final set.
The victory capped Fajardo and Demecillo’s two-game sweep of their best-of-three final series.
The De La Salle pair earlier bundled out crowd favorites Alyssa Valdez and Bea Tan of Ateneo, 20-22, 21-14, 16-14, in their rubber match of their Final Four semifinal showdown earlier.
The Lady Green Spikers took Game 1, 21-17, 16-21, 15-21.
“‘Pag lamang kami, nagrelax kami. Kaya kailangang mag-adjust,” said Fajardo, who is concentrating on indoor volleyball next year, now that Demecillo is on her last season.
In men’s action, Ateneo duo Karl Baysa and Mark Espejo, who held a thrice-to-beat advantage, took Game 2, 19-21, 21-15, 15-11, over the University of Santo Tomas pair Anthony Arbasto and Kris Guzman.
The victory tied the men’s finals at 1-all after Guzman and Arbasto earlier won, 21-13,21-17 verdict in Game 1.
Meanwhile, Ateneo seeks another golden double in the men’s and women’s divisions as the UAAP Season 78 swimming competitions open at 8 a.m. today at the Rizal Memorial Swimming Pool.
With reigning MVP Jessie Khing Lacuna and last season’s Rookie of the Year winner Aldo Batungbacal leading the charge, the Blue Eagles amassed 540 points to dethrone University of the Philippines, which placed second with 325 points.
Lacuna, an Olympics and Asian Games veteran, won seven gold medals to help Ateneo capture its second men’s championship in three years.
The Lady Eagles, meanwhile, ended a six-year title drought last season by collecting 468 points to unseat the Lady Maroons (430) in the throne behind the efforts MVP Hannah Dato and Season 77 top rookie Ariana Herranz.
A veteran internationalist, Dato won three gold medals in last year’s ASEAN University Games in Palembang.
In the juniors’ division, Ateneo seeks a record 11th consecutive boy’s title, while University of Santo Tomas hopes to reign anew in the girl’s side.
The four-day competition marks the debut of National University.
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