|NU Bulldog Bryan Bagunas, here playing aginst UP Tuesday, will try to secure a Final Four slot in a stacked UAAP Season 81final elimination schedule Saturday. Kennelf Monteza/File Photo|
By Ricky Manliguis
MANILA--Far Eastern U and University of Santo Tomas shoot for a sweep and direct entry into the finals of the UAAP Season 81 beach volleyball tournament, but have to get past respective opponents in the last day of elimination round action today at the SM Sands by the Bay in Pasay City.
The Tamaraws put its unbeaten streak on the line as it faces Ateneo in the second men's match-up at 10:40am.
Jude Garcia and Kevin Hadlocon are coming off six straight victories, including a 21-11, 21-10 drubbing of winless La Salle on Tuesday, and will be hard-pressed against the Blue Eagle side of Kurt Aguilar and Abai Llenos, 21-16, 21-15 winners over University of the Philippines also last Tuesday.
UP (1-5) and University of the East (2-4) open up men's festivities at 10am, while Adamson (4-2) tries to solidify its Final Four entry against La Salle (0-6) at 11:20am.
Reigning titlist National U and last year's finalist UST (both 5-1) clash in a virtual battle for second place at the stroke of noontime.
|Ateneo and La Salle will keep its play-off hopes alive as they will face separate assignments on Friday. Kennelf Monteza/File Photo|
Meanwhile, the women's defending champion Lady Tigresses are also on the cusp of a single-round whitewash, and will face FEU in a rematch of the Season 80 finals set at 12:40pm.
Veteran star Sisi Rondina and rookie Babylove Barbon are on a 16-game winning streak stretching back to Game 3 of the Season 79 finals against, incidentally, FEU.
Opening women's match-ups include the restart of Tuesday games delayed due to bad weather. FEU plays its first of three scheduled outings against Ateneo at 8am, UP trade hits with UE at 8:40am, while DLSU pair of Tine Tiamzon and Mich Morente tackle the NU Lady Bulldogs 40 minutes later.
Other women's afternoon sessions will be UP versus DLSU, Ateneo going up against UE, and NU facing Adamson U.
Should the Tamaraws and Lady Tigresses hurdle their assignments, they will be assured slots in the best-of-3 finals on Sunday, and will await the survivors of the step-ladder rounds which will commence on Saturday.
A loss will relegate them to the Final Four with a twice-to-beat advantage.