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NU, UE remain unscathed as Ateneo, La Salle top women's side

By Kristoffer Ed Bellen

MANILA—The National University Bulldogs and University of the East Red Warriors kept their winning ways at the second week of the UAAP Season 81 Tennis Tournament  at the Colegio de San Agustin Tennis Center in Bulacan, Sunday.

NU and UE has yet to drop a single tie as they stayed perfect after two weeks to finish first and second, respectively, with the former improving to 4-0 while the latter moving for a 3-0 win-loss record.

"This is a very pleasant surprise. I couldn't say we expected to be on top. But with the roster we have, we have a no-star team unlike the other teams who have star-quality players or players who have national and international experience, we have to rely on our grit and grind every single game.

"There are too many talented teams and there are too many games left in the season, so our only goal for now is to keep getting better as individuals and as a group and prepare our game plan for our next opponent," said NU head coach Karl Sta. Maria via an exclusive online interview with Dugout Philippines.

Meanwhile, arch rivals Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles and De La Salle Unviersity Lady Archers zoomed atop the women's division after finishing the second week with identical 2-1 records.

La Salle bounced back from their Week 1 loss after sweeping all their assignments over the weekend, starting off with a 3-2 nail-biter agains Ateneo on Saturday before eclipsing NU as well on Sunday in a familiar script.

The Lady Bulldogs, though, could not duplicate the triumphant return of their men's counterpart as they now sank at the bottom of the women's standings with a winless 0-2 card.

"We both lost very close 2-3 ties and a few points and a few games here and there, and we could have easily been 2-0 compared to being 0-2. But, we're also keeping things in perspective as we are one of the least talented teams on paper this season," Sta. Maria quipped.

"Aside from Clarice Patrimonio and Jzash Canja, we have basically a brand new team and there may be some promising talent, but, compared to other teams, they aren't as experienced as individuals on the national and international level unlike the other teams that have a deeper roster," he concluded.

FULL WEEK 2 RESULTS: Men's Division

UST defeats Ateneo, 3-2
UE defeats UP, 3-2
NU defeats Adamson, 5-0
UP defeats La Salle, 4-1
NU defeats Ateneo, 3-2
UE defeats Adamson, 5-0

FULL WEEK 2 RESULTS: Women's Division

UST defeats UP, 3-2
La Salle defeats Ateneo, 3-2
La Salle defeats NU, 3-2
Ateneo defeats UST, 3-2

Follow him on Twitter: @KristoffBellen