The Adamson University Falcons survived an extreme test of character, quelling the gamely De La Salle University Green Spikers in four gruelling sets 25-9, 24-26, 32-30, 27-25 in the UAAP Men’s Volleyball Tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, earlier today.
Falling victim to their slowest start of the season, DLSU looked helpless against the razor-sharp Adamson attack. AdU masterfully read the Green Spikers’ attack and had an immediate response. The Falcons amassed seven blocks in the set alone along with three service aces, allowing for a quick first set finish.
After a lively post-set talk, the Green Spikers finally showed the energy they desperately needed in the first set. DLSU’s Raymark Woo and Cris Dumago found seams in the AdU block and shouldered their team’s offense. La Salle negotiated a three-point lead, 17-14, before the Falcons came alive. AdU’s Jerome Sarmiento worked his short serve tremndously, capping a 3-0 run with back-to-back aces. With the set tied, both squads struggled to break away with Adamson getting first crack at set point 24-23. DLSU, however, made all the clutch plays, first getting Raymark Woo to obliterate a triple block for a 24-all deuce. Cris Dumago then shot a cross-court rocket unimpeded, setting up Arjay Onia’s set clinching tip on an overpassed ball.
With La Salle’s errors boosting their assault, the Falcons climbed to a four-point lead, 19-15. La Salle continued their erring ways, amassing 10 errors that accounted for most of Adamson’s points that got them to set point, 24-19. From there, Adamson’s offense stalled as the constant stream of errors seemed to freeze their attackers. The Green Spikers rattled off five consecutive points thanks mostly to the Cris Dumago’s consistent serving. Faced with another deuce, La Salle had the most chances at set point but the Falcons salvaged every opportunity they had to stay alive. The Falcons caught a break, getting a kill from captain Mike Sudaria then a great serve from Dave Pletado that coaxed a La Salle hitting fault for a 31-30 advantage. In the frantic long rally for the next point, Sudaria came in clutch, nabbing a block on Arjay Onia to secure the set.
The fourth set was La Salle’s turn to surrender a huge lead. Trailing 6-11, Adamson slowly plugged away at the DLSU’s lead and eventually took control, forcing a deuce. From there, the Falcons bombed La Salle with quick plays. The Falcons took the match with kills from Pao Pablico and a 1-2 play from Nico Ramirez.
The entire Adamson starting six contributed offensively. Mike Sudaria had 16, Pao Pablico finished with 15, Jerome Sarmiento pitched in 14, Bryan Saraza had 13, Dave Pletado muscled in 12, while Nico Ramirez had seven points with 28 excellent sets.
“Talagang hinahanda ko ang mga player sa mga mahahabang laban,” said Adamson head coach Domingo Custodio. “Alam na nila ‘yung gagawin. Basta wag kami bumitaw sa block at receive, makakapalo kami lagi ng malakas. Kampante ako doon.”
Arjay Onia finished with 22 points while team captain Raymark Woo tallied 19 points. Opposite hitter Cris Dumago recorded 12 markers.
Adamson (4-1) next faces the UP Maroons (3-2) on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. DLSU (1-4) takes on the FEU Tamaraws (3-2) on Sunday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
AdU (3) – Sudaria 16, Pablico 15, Sarmiento 14, Saraza 13, Pletado 12, Ramirez 7, Yude 0, Consunji 0, Mendiolla (L), Melgar (L)
DLSU (1) – Onia 22, Woo 19, Dumago 12, Calasin 7, Bacon 3, Frey 2, Asia G. 1, Jose 1, Maravilla 0, Marco 0, Movido (L)