The Adamson Soaring Falcons continued their winning ways, this time against a gritty UST Tiger Spikers squad in a tightly-contested game, 25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 27-25 held at the Mall of Asia Arena.
In a battle of two of the top teams in the current men’s volleyball tournament, the close and intense matchup for solo second in the standings was evident. For the entire four-set match, it was nothing but great exchanges between the two teams led by Adamson’s Michael Sudaria and UST’s Mark Alfafara.
Sudaria top-scored Adamson with his 22 markers including three blocks while Alfafara garnered 24 points as he led all scorers in the game. Rookie Jerome Sarmiento continued his impressive opening season for Adamson, contributing 18 points in the heavyweight matchup between the two teams.
From the get go, no team established their respective groove as each countered the other with impressive stops and spikes.
Both teams raced to a close start in the opening moments of the first set as no team led by more than five. UST and Adamson exchanged leads multiple times but it was the Falcons that raised an 8-2 rally late to close the first set.
Looking to counter, UST maximized Adamson’s subpar floor reception during the second frame as they tied the game at one set apiece. Alfafara, together with his usual scoring partner Romnick Rico provided the offense to deadlock the match.
The third and fourth set could have gone to either squad but it was Adamson’s balanced scoring that helped them against the towering UST team. Late crucial hits and blocks delivered by the Falcons anchored them to the victory, continuing their hot start in this season.
Both teams were on par in majority of the statistical categories but it was the Falcons’ six more attacks, 56-50 that provided the edge. Their floor defense was displayed anew with four more digs at 32-28.
Adamson’s last assignment in the first round of the tournament will be FEU on Jan. 11, 8am also at the Mall of Asia Arena while UST faces La Salle in their final match of the opening round, 8am on Jan. 10, at the San Juan Arena.
Adamson- Sudaria 22, Sarmiento 18, Saraza 12, David 6, Ramirez 5, Pablico 5, Pletado 1, Mallapre 0, Melgar(L) 0
UST- Alfafara 27, Rico 18, Bautista 6, Balse 5, Sarabia 5, Castillo 3, Tajanlangit 0, Guzman 0, Lopez 0, Pangan(L) 0