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HomeSportUST stays alive, downs FEU in men's volleyball Final Four

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


UST Golden Spikers UAAP Season 86 men's volleyball Final Four

UST Golden Spikers during a UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball Final Four game against the FEU Tamaraws.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — University of Santo Tomas revived its bid for a second straight finals appearance after purging Far Eastern University’s twice-to-beat bonus with a 25-23, 25-19, 28-26 win in the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball Final Four on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

With their final hopes on the line against the top-seeded Tamaraws, whom they failed to beat in the elimination round, the Golden Spikers turned to their star Josh Ybañez, who delivered 16 points, 13 excellent receptions, and six digs.

UST forced a decider against FEU on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

READ: UAAP: NU Bulldogs survive La Salle for Final Four edge

“We’re happy to get the first game of their twice-to-beat. But it’s not over, we have to beat them again,” said Ybañez in Filipino. “We will improve our strengths and work on our lapses so we’ll be more ready next game.”

Josh Ybanez UST Golden Spikers UAAP Season 86 men's volleyball Final Four

UST Golden Spikers’ Josh Ybanez during a UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball Final Four match against the FEU Tamaraws.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

The reigning MVP, who has been needing help during UST’s struggles in the elimination round, was backstopped by Sherwin Umandal emerging as the Player of the Game with 14 points, while GBoy De Vega and Paul Colinares added 10 points each with the latter nailing four blocks. 

FEU tried to extend the match after saving a match point through Dryx Saavedra’s crucial attack to tie the third set at 24-apiece. De Vega brought UST on top after three straight points for a 27-26 lead before Ybañez drilled the match-winning kill off a broken play.

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

“My mindset was I don’t want to have a vacation yet because all of us are currently living our dream to play for UST,” said De Vega, who also had 19 excellent receptions. “We’re aiming to reach the finals again after making it last year. We can’t lose this game and good thing, our hard work paid off.”

UST coach Odjie Mamon thanked their fans, who prevailed in their rivalry game against FEU, hoping to repay their support with another win on Wednesday.

“During our huddle prior to the match, I put some pressure on my players, emphasizing that this is a do-or-die match. We lose, that’s it, we’ll have our vacation. If they want to at least realize their goal, they have to give their all so we get to live another day,” Mamon said.

FEU, which finished with a 12-2 record in the eliminations, was paced by Saavedra’s 14 points, while Martin Bugaoan and Andrei Delicana chipped in 10 and nine points, respectively.



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