With veterans on the bench, UP trounces UST

Coming off a sorry loss on opening weekend, UP made a huge comeback after dealing UST a 25-17, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21 win Sunday in the UAAP Season 78 men’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

In a surprising change, coach Rod Palmero chose not to give veterans Alfred Valbuena and Evan Raymundo much exposure, sticking to Wendel Miguel as the only old hand inside the court.

“Ginamit ko yung dalawang bago ko, kapalit nung dalawang medyo mababa yung laro. Ginamit ko na yung Consuelo and Trinidad para makapag pabago nung rhythm nila,” he said.

And while Palmero thinks pressure is getting into Valbuena and Raymundo’s heads, his trust in Miguel paid off handsomely.

Read: First impressions: How teams opened UAAP volleyball

Miguel finished with 20 points, gamely taking on the Tiger Spikers’ 3-man blocks as UP evened its card to 1-1.

It was not smooth sailing all the way, though, as UST stormed back to take the 2nd set, taking advantage of the Fighting Maroons, who fell into a maze of errors.

But the Diliman spikers took it from there, building a lead of as much as 7 points before holding the Tiger Spikers back behind Raymundo and Valbuena.

“Yung naging rhythm ng laro namin ngayon against UST, kontroladong kontrolado. Sinasabi ko sakanila, eto lang kailangan namin gawin, we have to focus kung ano dapat unahin,” he added. — By Joyce Palad