And the race to the semifinals continues to heat up.
UST completed a day of upsets in the 2nd round of UAAP Season 78 men’s volleyball tournament after nipping second-seed Adamson in a shocking sweep, 26-24, 25-23, 25-23 Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Arena.
After La Salle dealt a crucial blow to FEU’s post-season chances in the first game, the Tiger Spikers followed the trend as they outsmarted the Soaring Falcons to grab a share of the 5th spot with UP at 4-5.
The España squad’s back-to-back wins prior to the big battle against powerhouse Adamson gave them enough confidence- booster to take down a giant and slowly climb up the team rankings.
“’Yun pa yung i-woworkout namin kasi ‘yung mga bata dumadating pa sa punto na kapag dumidikit kalaban, nagkakaroon ng pressure,” said assistant coach Ben Mape, who spoke to the press in lieu of head coach Odjie Mamon, who had to rush to the airport to catch a flight after the game.
Rookie spiker Manuel Medina and veteran Jason Sarabia combined for 28 big points to keep UST’s Final Four hopes alive and kicking.
Struggling to find their mark in the first round of eliminations, UST seemed to be an awakened beast in offense in round 2, punctuated by 41 kills and 6 service aces, punishing the opponent’s faulty floor defense.
“Good game, talagang with the blessing of God, lumabas ‘yung performance nila,” added Mape.
Although UST committed more errors, 34-23, the Soaring Falcons failed to capitalize especially in the 3rd frame where it rallied to erase an 11-point deficit only to sputter in the end which was basically the story of their day.
Team captain Michael Sudaria was the lone player in double digits for the San Marcelino spikers with 12 points.
Adamson retained its spot at 2nd with 6-3 record but it is now tied with NU which could eventually complicate things as only the top 2 teams after the double round robin will get to have a twice-to-beat advantage. — By Jason Mercene