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HomeSportUST becomes first fourth seed to reach UAAP volleyball Finals

UST becomes first fourth seed to reach UAAP volleyball Finals


UST Golden Spikers UAAP Season 86 men's volleyball Finals

UST Golden Spikers celebrate after becoming the first fourth seed to reach the UAAP volleyball Finals.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — History wasn’t on the side of the University of Santo Tomas as no No. 4 seed team has yet to reach the UAAP volleyball Finals since the Final Four era began.

But the Golden Spikers overcame the odds and completed and swept league-leaders Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 25-18, 21-25, 26-24, 26-24, to become the first-ever fourth seed to reach the championship round and claim a second straight finals trip in the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Reigning MVP Josh Ybañez had another day at the office with 19 points including two aces and a block on top of 13 excellent receptions to lead UST. But it was GBoy De Vega and Sherwin Umandal, who continued to spell the difference and nailed the winning attacks to triumph in a grueling two-hour match in front of 6,000 fans.

READ: UAAP: UST stays alive, downs FEU in men’s volleyball Final Four

“Hindi namin pinapansin, hindi namin inisip na kami ang No. 4 na wala na kaming chance magFinals. As long as may spot, kahit tiny spot lang na makapasok kami sa finals, gagawan at gagawan namin ng paraan. Pagtatrabahuhan,” said Ybañez.

The Golden Spikers denied the Tamaraws from forcing a fifth set, fighting back from a 19-22 deficit in the fourth as Umandal and De Vega brought their team to match point, 24-23, before Rainier Flor committed a net fault that allowed FEU to force a deuce.

Umandal put UST back at match point, 25-24, before De Vega sent themselves to the finals with an off-the-block hit to forge another title series with National University, which is seeking a fourth consecutive crown.

“Fulfilling kasi, eto, babalik na ulit kami sa finals tapos happy at the same time, dagdag pressure kasi syempre finals naman yung next na trabaho namin. Pero yung pressure na sinasabi ko, yun yung good side lagi ah, yung binanggit namin last time na kapag may pressure mas, hindi naman nagiingat, pero mas ayos lang yung laro. Mas driven,” said De Vega, who delivered 18 points and 13 receptions.

READ: UAAP: UST secures last Final Four berth in men’s volleyball

UST swept FEU in the first game last Sunday to force a decider behind the troika of Ybañez, De Vega, and Umandal.

“Yung gagawin lang po namin is magfofoccus lang po kami sa mga ituturo ng coaches namin tapos kung ano lang po yung ano na, kung saan kami mas mageexccel, yung lakas namin. Doon lang po kami magfofocus and mapunan yung lapses,” said Umandal, who had 16 points and seven digs.

Setter Dux Yambao paced the Golden Spikers with 13 excellent sets on top of three points, while Paul Colinares added 12 points as coach Odjie Mamon, who had a different approach in their do-or-die match.



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“I just let them play the whole match. Konti lang yung interference ko in terms of sa allowed ako. I was a cheerleader earlier not their coach. I let them play and they delivered,” said Mamon.

FEU settled for bronze after missing the chance to end a five-year finals drought.

Dryx Saavedra carried the Tamaraws with 20 points including four blocks. Jayjay Javelona  chipped in 16 points and six digs, while Andrei Delicana added 12 points 





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