University of Sto. Tomas stunned defending champion Nazareth School of National University, 25-20, 25-27, 15-25, 25-22, 15-12, in a morale-boosting upset win on Wednesday to start the UAAP Season 82 boys' volleyball tournament at the Paco Arena.
With the fifth set tied at 8-8, the Junior Tiger Spikers scored five unanswered points, capped by a Paul Colinares block for a 13-8 lead that put the fire out of the Bullpups, who lost seven players from last year's championship run.
"Morale-boosting talaga itong panalo though syempre may hinahanap pa rin kaming consistency sa mga bata pero given na marami kaming bago, medyo understandable pa (this first game)," said UST assistant coach John Abella.
Rey De Vega exploded for 29 points, including 22 attacks, three blocks and four service aces while rookie Jay Dela Noche chipped in 14 points for the Junior Tiger Spikers, who ruled the tournament two years ago.
Michael Buddin paced NU with 16 markers, while Michael Fortuna and Mac Bandola added 12 points apiece.
In the other opening day matches, Far Eastern University-Diliman overcame a slow start to beat Adamson University, 23-25, 25-15, 25-22, 25-23, while University of the East scored a convincing 25-22, 25-18, 25-18 victory over Ateneo.
Jerold Talisayan and Rans Cajolo each tallied 15 points, while Angelo Lipata and France Racaza chipped in 12 and 10 markers, respectively, for the Baby Tamaraws, who had a huge 12-5 advantage in the service area.
Evander Novilla delivered 18 points on 14 spikes and four blocks for the Baby Falcons.
JP Mangahis came through with 12 points while team captain Francis Babon chalked up nine markers for the Junior Warriors.
Alexis Mendoza led the Blue Eaglets with nine points built on seven attacks and two blocks.