GONE in 57 minutes on the day of hearts.
That’s how fast University of Santo Tomas disposed of rival Far Eastern University (FEU) at the close of the 72nd UAAP men’s volleyball eliminations Sunday at the Arena in San Juan City.
Jayson Ramos punched in 15 points while team mate Hendry Pecaña contributed 12 points to completely avenge its lone loss in the eliminations against FEU last December 16, 2009 as quarter scores tallied 25-21, 25-20, and 25-13.
“It’s good to be on top but we have to prepare now for the semifinals. We are happy,” said Tigers mentor Emil Lontoc.
The Tigers are now on top with a 13-1 win-loss slate while the Tamaraws are in second place for an 11-3 finish.
Joshua Alcarde and Pitrus de Ocampo combined for 18 points to lead the losing cause of the Tamaraws.
In the other contest, arch-rivals Ateneo de Manila and De La Salle heated up the court after trading spikes and power blocks in the 90-minute action which saw the Eagles ripping the Archers, three sets to one.
Quarter scores are 26-24, 25-20, 25-23, and 25-18 for the Katipunan-based squad.
Skipper Andre Pareja and veteran Duane Teves scored 16 points each to lift the Eagles against the Taft-based spikers.
Team captain Chris Macasaet meanwhile delivered the hits for La Salle as the King Archer tallied 16 points, 15 spikes, and one ace service.
The loss relegated the Archers for a rubber match against last year’s runner-up University of the Philippines for holding identical 7-7 slates on Wednesday (February 17).
Meanwhile, UST, FEU and Ateneo are now included in the elite ‘Final Four’ cast. The winner of the UP-DLSU match-up will finish fourth and will meet UST, which carries a twice-to-beat-advantage.
FEU, which holds a similar incentive, will tangle with Ateneo in the semifinals set to begin on February 21 (Sunday).
In the distaff side, Ateneo scored anew after finishing its best ever elimination round since joining the league in 1978 with a 10-4 card after downing Adamson.
Angeline Gervacio fired 21 hits while Bea Pascual and Fille Cainglet added 13 apiece to avoid a thrilling showdown with defending champion La Salle in the semifinals.
Quarter scores are 25-18, 25-20, 19-25, 25-19 in favor of the Lady Eagles.
Adamson dropped to No. 4 (9-5) as the Lady Falcons brace for a Final Four meeting with the Lady Archers, unbeaten in 13 matches.
UST gets softball tiara
Perennial bridesmaids UST meanwhile finally ended a title drought winning its first-ever softball crown Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium in Manila.
The final score was 8-3 as the Tigresses dethroned nine-time champions, the Lady Falcons.
The Tigresses copped the title for sweeping the double-round eliminations, 10-0.
Individual honors had Aiza Dela Torre as this year’s Best Pitcher and Most Valuable Player while teammate Lani Sarmiento took the Best Hitter award and joined UE’s Michelle Tan with Most Runs Batted In with 12 in all.
Amalia Sayuno won the Most Stolen Base award while Ana Paghubusan (UST), Tan, and Marlyn Francisco of UE shared the Most Homerun title with four apiece.
UE’s Michelle Francisco captured the Best Slugger diadem while her younger sister Marlyn copped the Rookie of the Year award. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)