Tigers claw Green Spikers, inch closer to a semis berth
Mark Escarlote on Mar 29, 2017 02:05 PM
University of Sto. Tomas is now just a few steps away from clinching a semis seat.
A long preparation against De La Salle paid off for University of Sto. Tomas as the Tigers outlasted the Green Spikers, 28-30, 25-23, 25-20, 16-25, 15-11, Wednesday to fortify their bid to clinch a semis seat in the 79th UAAP men’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
UST won its fifth of six five-set matches this season and climbed to a 6-6 win-loss card in a tie at third to fourth with idle Far Eastern University.
The win also formally eliminated Adamson from the semis race.
The Tigers were able to dictate the outcome of the match after shattering an 8-all deadlock with three straight points. A crucial service error by DLSU’s Cris Dumago pushed UST at match point, 14-10, but the Tigers answered with a flubbed service on the other end to give the Green Spikers another chance.
DLSU surrendered the game after a miscommunication in its reception that sealed the two-hour, 14-minute duel with the Green Spikers again bowing down to UST in a five-set battle.
"Medyo maayos-ayos ang execution namin doon sa prepared na set plays. We stuck to the game plan, talagang pilit na iniiwas sa main passer nila ang service namin,” said UST coach Odjie Mamon. “Although nagi-error kami, deserving naman na i-risk kumbaga hindi outright point per madali sa amin na makapuntos.”
Mamon put his trust on his wards, battle-tested in five-set matches, in the tight deciding frame.
“Sinabi ko na ilaro na lang nila kasi nasa kamay na nila (ang kapalaran nila),” he said. “Wala na kaming magagawa roon eh. Nag-respond naman sila saka pinag-aralan talaga namin ang La Salle like more than three weeks.”
Manuel Medina scored 15 for the Tigers while Jerico Jose had 14. Jayvee Sumagaysay finished with 13 while skipper Arnold Bautista got 12 for the Espana-based squad, which will face Adamson on April 2 before closing the elims against FEU on April 8.
With a 4-8 record, the Green Spikers need to sweep its remaining games against Ateneo and University of the East. But DLSU will have to pray that there will be a tie at 8-6 slate at fourth to fifth spot to force a playoff.
Geraint Bacon and Dumago scored 17 each while Arjay Onia got 16 for the Taft-based squad.
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