Tiger Cubs claim first-ever boys volleyball crown
University of Sto. Tomas wrote history after capturing its breakthrough UAAP boys volleyball title.
Graduating players Jaron Requinton and Efraem Dimaculangan made sure that they will leave a winning legacy in their last year in a University of Sto. Tomas Tiger Cubs jersey.
The duo played their hearts out and helped the Tiger Cubs write history as UST recovered from two sets down to complete a Finals sweep of Far Eastern University-Diliman, 18-25, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-5, in Game 2 of the 80th UAAP boys volleyball best-of-three series Monday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
“Simula pa lang sinasabi na namin sa mga players namin especially dun sa mga graduating namin na sina Requinto at Dimaculangan na, ‘Wag tayong pumayag na grumaduate kayo na hindi man lang kayo nakatikim ng championship,’” said UST assistant coach Rommel Abella after the Tiger Cubs captured their first-ever title. “Buti na lang nag-step up silang dalawa sa game na ‘to.”
Requinton was named Finals Most Valuable Player for his stellar performance in the series to add to his 1st Best Blocker award.
UST came out cold in the first two sets and needed time to heat up and rediscover its rhythm to deny the first-time finalists Baby Tamaraws a chance to force a series decider.
“Sa first two sets sobrang lamig talaga eh. Di ko alam kung complacency o yung hindi normal na warmup?” said Abella.
The Espana-based squad drew first blood, 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 25-18, but started on the wrong foot in Game 2.
“Kasi noong first two sets namin masyado kaming nag-iingat eh. Ayaw naming mag-take ng chance, ayaw naming mag-take ng risk. Sabi namin take the chance. Kung di kami gumagana sa safe mag-take tayo ng risk. Good thing nag-work out,” said Abella.
“I commend the boys kasi at least lumaban. Hind sila nagpabaya na lang. Hindi sila umayaw lang. Sabi ko lang basta makuha lang namin ang third set may laban kami,” he added.
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