Defending champions Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles pulled themselves out of a tailspin and salvaged an epic comeback win over the National University Bulldogs, while the Far Eastern University Tamaraws and University of Santo Tomas Tiger Spikers topped the standings after Day One of the UAAP Season 79 Men’s Volleyball Tournament at the Sands SM by the Bay.
Ateneo’s Marck Espejo and Ish Polvorosa overcame five combined match points to escape NU’s Fauzi Ismail and Madz Gampong 11-21, 24-22, 16-14, in their evening meeting.
After a letdown of a first set, Ateneo were in dire shape, with the Bulldogs holding match point, 17-20, in the second set. But the the boys from Loyola Heights rallied back behind tremendous serving from Polvorosa. The Blue Eagles eventually came out on top after an Ismail attack error. The Blue Eagles then narrowed a three-point NU lead down to one, 13-14, in the decider. Espejo pulled off a thunderous block on Ismail to force a deuce, before the Bulldogs again surrendered errors to cap the match.
The Blue Eagles had performed poorly in their morning match against University of Santo Tomas’ Kris Roy Guzman and Anthony Arbasto, dropping quickly, 15-21, 17-21.
NU, on the other hand, had breezed through their first match against the University of the East’s Jeric Ortega and Vince Abrot, 21-16, 21-16.
“Hindi pa po talaga kami nagkaka-amuyan ni Ish (Polvorosa) kasi two weeks lang po talaga kami nakapag-training sa beach. Thankfully, naka-adjust naman and kailangan lang namin ‘to pagpatuloy,” said Espejo.
The Tiger Spikers completed their unblemished day, demolishing the Red Warriors, 21-8, 21-11 in the final match of the day.
Far Eastern University’s Jude Garcia and Richard Solis also manager a 2-0 slate, upending De La Salle University’s Cris Dumago and Wayne Marco 21-12, 15-21, 16-14 in the morning then inching past Adamson University’s Rence Melgar and JP Yude 21-18, 21-19 in the afternoon.
The Falcons nailed a win in their morning clash with University of the Philippines’ Alfred Valbuena and Wendel Miguel 21-18, 24-22. UP then made short work of the Green Spikers in the evening 21-13, 21-18.
UAAP Season 79 Men’s Beach Volleyball Tournament
October 1, 2016 – Sands SM by the Bay, Pasay City