University of Santo Tomas and National University conquered their Final Four foes to advance to the UAAP Season 84 men’s beach volleyball championship Saturday at Sands SM By The Bay.
The Tiger Spikers’ Jaron Requinton and Rancel Varga bested De La Salle’s Noel Kampton and Vince Maglinao anew, 21-9, 21-10, to move closer to clinching their third straight crown.
UST also defeated their Taft counterparts on the last day of eliminations on Friday.
Unlike in their first meeting where the Bulldogs needed three sets to prevail, James Buytrago and Pol Salvador made short work of University of the Philippines’ Louis Gamban and Dan Nicolas, 21-12, 21-15.
NU clinched its first Finals berth since 2017.
Looking forward is Buytrago in facing good pal and national teammate Requinton in the big dance.
“All out na ang laro bukas,” said Buytrago. “Parehong mataas ang preparation at parehas kaming nag national team ni Jaron. Lakas nang loob at dedication na ang makikita ng lahat bukas.
“Pagaaralin pa rin namin ang laro nila kasi alam namin di nila basta-basta ibibigay ang gold. Sila ang defending champion kaya dedepensahan nila yun. Kaya mas gagalingan pa namin at ilalaban namin kung ano mga pinaghandaan namin,” he added.
The last time the two teams met on the league’s biggest stage was in 2017, when the Bulldogs, powered by Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad, topped the Tigers duo of KR Guzman and Krung Arbasto for their fourth crown.
UST and NU, the men’s beach volleyball most successful programs with combined nine championships, go for all the marbles at 9 a.m. Sunday.
The Tigers, who lost to the Bulldogs in three sets in the season opener on May 27, have the most number of titles with six titles.
The Green Spikers and the Fighting Maroons dispute third place at 9 a.m.