Ateneo and National University Set for Decisive Matches in UAAP Tennis Finals

MANILA - In a thrilling day of tennis at the Felicisimo Ampon Tennis Center within the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, both the Ateneo de Manila University men's team and the National University women's team overcame the University of Santo Tomas to set up winner-take-all finals in the UAAP Season 86 tennis championship on Saturday.

According to Philippines News Agency, the Ateneo men's team edged out defending champion UST with a narrow 3-2 victory. Freshman sensation JD Velez was pivotal in Ateneo's triumph, securing a 6-4, 6-4 win over Seb Santos in a crucial third singles match. Velez expressed relief and determination post-match, acknowledging the pressure of facing the defending champions but emphasizing a fearless approach and commitment to giving their all.

Ateneo's path to victory began with Noy Seno's comeback win over two-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) Nilo Ledama, followed by a dominant doubles performance from Rookie of the Year Axl Gonzaga and Nio Tria. However, UST mounted a comeback with EJ Tangub and the duo of Steven Sonsona and Symon Jaculan winning their matches, setting the stage for Velez's decisive win.

On the women's side, the National University Lady Bulldogs also forced a final showdown against UST with a 3-1 victory. Despite UST's promising start with Kaye Emana's swift win, the Lady Bulldogs, led by reigning MVP Alyssa Mae Bornia and Alliah Ragunton, quickly leveled the tie in the doubles matches. Elsie Abarquez and the team of Rovie Baulete and Danna Abad clinched the next two matches to secure victory. Abarquez highlighted the team's mindset of playing to their strengths while aiming to recover from their initial setback.

The tension and excitement are set to continue as both the men's and women's final matches are scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday at the same venue, promising a day filled with competitive tennis as the teams vie for the UAAP Season 86 titles.