UAAP Beach Volleyball: NU Defending Champion Stops UST

NU beach volleyball player James Bitrago UAAP photo

Ephraim of James Bytrago University of Santo Thomas at National University blocks Dimakulangan’s spike

MANILA, Philippines – National University’s James Buitrago and Paul Salvador defeated defending champion Ephraim Dimakulangan and University of Santo Thomas’ Ransell Varg 12-21, 21-17, 15-12, UAAP Season 84 men’s beach volleyball tournament on Friday. Sands SM by Gulf on Friday.

Bytrago, a former member of the men’s national beach volleyball team and bronze medalist at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, refused to go down with his partner Salvador after losing the opening set to three-pit-investigative Tiger speakers.

The NU pair struggled from a 5-8 deficit in the final third set, scoring five points in a row for a 10-8 lead. The UST was able to restore order as Dimakulangan’s block game tied 11-all, but his teammate Verger made a service error and a spike in Bitrago and the Block Bulldogs to a match point at 14-11.

Dimakulangan only saved one point for Salvador to end the thrilling game for Salvador as the Bulldogs won their first match after two matches in the opening return of UAAP beach volleyball three years later.

NU began their campaign with a 1-1 record, returning from a tragic defeat before La Salle’s Noel Campton and Vince Maglinao, 21-12, 15-21, 11-15.

UST, which sees its third consecutive championship, begins its title-holding campaign on the wrong foot. Jarron Requinton, who recently won a bronze medal at his second SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam last week, has been listed as the school’s third player and could be activated at any time in the tournament.

Ateneo's Abay Lenos and Amil Pacinio UAAP photo

Ateneo’s Abay Lenos and Amil Pacinio UAAP photo

Meanwhile, Ateneo and La Salle took a 2-0 lead early in the tournament with the former Making Wave after a winless campaign in 2019.

Atenio’s Abai Lenos and Emil Pachinio defeated Farlard University’s Gelard Talisyan and Vincent Nadera 21-15, 21-15.

Kampton and Maglina of the Green Spicers also made their UAAP debuts after beating NU and defeating Daniel Nicholas and Louis Gamban of the Philippines 21-19, 21-11.

UP’s Gamban and Nicholas split their first two matches after a 21-15, 21-11 win over Adamson in the morning session.

Morning sessions with FEU-Adamson, UST-UP, and Ateneo-De La Salle at 9 a.m. Saturday, and afternoon games with NU-UP, FEU-De La Salle, and UST-Ateneo, starting at 1 p.m.

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