College of St. Benilde sweeps first round of NCAA S99 men’s and women’s lawn tennis

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COLLEGE of St. Benilde (CSB) moved on the verge of an National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 99 lawn tennis sweep after recently seizing the first round pennants of both the men’s and women’s divisions at the PCA courts in Paco, Manila.

Carl Ubalde’s 6-1, 6-4 win over Al Kent Balazo in the opening singles helped seal the Blazing Netters’ 3-0 romp of the San Beda University Red Lions and complete the first round sweep in two outings. Gian Macaraeg and Fern Po bounced Marlon Fortaleza and Shant Nuguit, 7-5, 6-1, in the doubles, and Karl Baran waylaid Luis Angelo Pascua in the last singles, 6-1, 6-1, that sealed the deal.

Gab Zoleta, meanwhile, sideswiped Angela Valdez, 6-1, 6-4, in clinching a 2-1 win over University of Perpetual Help and completing a women’s first-round sweep. UPHSD earlier won the first singles with a 6-2, 6-1 win by Shyryn Salazar over Valerie Desoyo but CSB struck back with a 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-2 win by Kiana de Asis and Dorelle Laguda over Julia Ignacio and Ella Natividad in the doubles.

CSB could claim the title if it could top the second round unfolding Thursday.

If not, CSB would play a sudden death against the eventual second-round pennant winner. — Joey Villar