UST pens historic feat

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Sisi Rondina of University of Santo Tomas takes a breather during the finals of the Season 81 University Athletic Association of the Philippines beach volleyball competition against De La Salle University yesterday at the SM By the Bay. The Tigresses won, 21-12, 21-19. JOAQUI FLORES

Sisi Rondina and Babylove Barbon made history when they won University of Santo Tomas’ third consecutive title in the beach volleyball competition of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 81 Sunday at SM By The Bay.

The Tigresses pulled off a dominant 21-7, 21-16 win over Michelle Morente and Tin Tiamzon of De La Salle Univeristy to complete another perfect season.

Tipped to win the championship before the start of the tournament, UST has actually won 19 consecutive matches — a new league mark — dating back from the Season 79 Finals.

But when we won, I realized that, yes, we’re also capable of becoming successful.

The mighty Tigresses overcame a tough second set to prevail over the Lady Spikers in Game 1, 21-12, 21-19, earlier in the day.

Setting the tone for a double championship, UST reclaimed the men’s throne as Krung Arbasto and Jaron Requinton were able to withstood a gallant stand by Far Eastern University’s Jude Garcia and Richard Solis in Game 2 to carve out a 21-13, 22-24, 15-10 win.

The Growling Tigers halted the Tamaraws’ perfect run with a 21-14, 21-16 victory in the Finals opener.

For Rondina, height does not matter in helping the school become the first women’s beach volleyball team to complete a three-peat.

“For you to prove yourself that you can, why not?” said Rondina, who won her fourth season Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.

“I know I haven’t proven anything yet I started because I’m small. But when we won, I realized that, yes, we’re also capable of becoming successful.”

“This (MVP) is only a bonus. My real goal is to win another title for UST.”

Arbasto dedicated the title conquest to his former partner KR Guzman, who failed to win on his final year after the Tigers lost to the Bulldogs in last season’s championship.

The Tigers were at championship point in the second frame but Requinton’s rookie jitters came into play.

With Requinton already calmed down, UST produced a dominant third set performance.

The Tigers’ youth movement was displayed all season-long, with Barbon and Requinton won the Rookie of the Year awards in their respective divisions.

UST is now tied National University for the most number of titles with four.

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