Lady Archers top UAAP tennis, seal overall crown
MANILA, Philippines - La Salle leaned on Martina Guba’s gutsy play in the deciding second singles to wrest the UAAP women’s lawn tennis title from University of Santo Tomas, 3-2, in yesterday’s Game Two of the Season 75 championship duel at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
Guba played her guts out despite an injured wrist and blistered feet to score a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Tigress Lenelyn Milo and cap her stellar UAAP career with her third diadem.
The Lady Archers, who took the series opener via the same scoreline, also benefited from the triumphs of tournament MVP Regina Santiago (6-3, 6-1 over Lenlen Santos in the first singles) and Rookie of the Year Marinel Rudas (6-1, 6-3 over Macy Gonzales) in pulling off the title conquest. DLSU yielded the two doubles matches (Aira Putiz and Lynette Palasan losing to Dianne Bautista and Jhie Helar, 1-6, 2-6 and Nikki Arandia and Princess Castillo bowing to April Santos and Zaza Paulino, 3-6, 2-6).
La Salle’s conquest at Rizal also formalized its victory in the UAAP general championship race. The tennis romp was worth 15 points, giving DLSU a total of 278 points as runner-up UST settled for 12 points and 277 overall. La Salle is assured of at least 12 points in the women’s volleyball finals, where it defends its crown against Ateneo beginning tomorrow.
It was sweet revenge for the DLSU netters, who last year were spotless in the elims but were denied of a dream season as the UST netters overcame their twice-to-beat finals advantage to steal the plum.
“We were heartbroken by our loss last season as we felt we let it slip away. So after that campaign, we really prepared for this one,” said Guba, a graduating International Studies student.
The 19-year-old Guba did not let the injury she suffered while competing at the Unigames last October get in the way.
Trailing 4-5, Guba broke Milo twice and held serve in between to secure the first set, then sensing the momentum, blitzed past the UST rookie in the second to seal it.
“I was having trouble running and giving my 100 percent because of blisters. But with the help of coach (Taddy Cruz), I was able to figure out what to do and execute it late in the first set,” said Guba as she and two-time MVP Santiago got a fitting valedictory in the UAAP.