Arellano University trounced San Sebastian, 2-1, yesterday to move two wins away from capturing its first ever title in the 92nd NCAA juniors lawn tennis competition at the Rizal Tennis Center.
Aljohn Talatayod downed Vincent Anida, 6-3, 6-4, in the opening singles and Norman Gaspar overpowered Pete Coteron, 6-2, 6-1, in the reverse singles to clinch the match for the Junior Chiefs.
The Staglets had the duel knotted at one game apiece after Sherwin Villacorte and Joseph Anida smashed John Harold Trillanes and Juan Carlos Lapore, 6-2, 6-0, in the doubles and sent it into the deciding singles match.
In the end, Gaspar handily beat Coteron to seal the win.
Arellano U, which clinched the first round pennant, could secure its very first title since it joined the league six years ago if it could beat defending champion San Beda and Lyceum in their last two outings of the second round.
Only the Red Cubs are in the way after they trounced the Junior Pirates with wins by Dawson Ormoc over Elvin Joseph Geluz, 6-0, 7-5, and Aldy Ignacio and Patrick Mendoza over Jason Guillermo and Joshua Cabanog, 6-0, 6-0.
LPU averted a shutout after Stefano Gurria edged Eduardo Bagaforo, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, in the non-bearing reverse singles match.
San Beda is currently tied with Mapua as the league’s most titled juniors teams with 16 titles apiece.
If it could top the second round and Arellano U in the finals, the former would end up as the league’s winningest squad.