Struggling to get their bearings in their first two outings, the Adamson University Falcons finally kicked their second round blues, outlasting the Far Eastern University Tamaraws 14-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-12 in the UAAP Men’s Volleyball Tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Adamson looked like the stumbling Falcons that started the second round in the first set. Unable to get decent passes, the Falcons easily yielded the first set. The second frame turned into a tightly contested affair. Adamson saw a two point lead, 8-6, evaporate after FEU’s kicked in. Trailing 9-11, the Falcons responded with kills from Dave Pletado and Mike Sudaria to retake the advantage, 16-13. FEU continued clipping the lead down to one on multiple occasions but their own attack errors buoyed Adamson ahead. The Falcons wasted two set points before finally ending the set off a Sudaria open hit.
FEU controlled the third set early, clinging to a two-point lead, 8-6, before fumbling receptions to spot Adamson the advantage. After a slide of FEU errors, Adamson took a 16-12 lead. Team captain Joah Barrica led a 6-2 FEU run to tie the set at 18 through his serving and spiking. But Adamson setter Nicco Ramirez had another immediate reply. Frustrated by bad refereeing in previous plays, Ramirez steered his team’s offense to a quick 4-0 run, forcing an FEU timeout. The Tamaraws managed just two more points before Adamson reached set point, 24-20. FEU threatened to come back but a Jeric Gacutan service error gave the Falcons the set. Depleted, the Tamaraws barely put up a fight in the fourth frame, surrendering a 10-17 gap that they could not trim.
Scoreless in the Falcons’ last outing, open hitter Jerome Sarmiento redeemed himself, scoring a game-high 15 points. Team captain Mike Sudaria pitched in 12 markers while Dave Pletado had 10.
“Minsan talaga parang wala sa mood maglaro ang mga players ko,” said Adamson head coach Domingo Custodio. “Kaya kita mo noong first set wala talaga kaming laro. Nasa receive lang naman ang kailangan namin ayusin. Kapag may ganoon kami, madali na kaming makaka-opensa.”
Rookie Jude Garcia led a balanced FEU scoresheet with 13 markers while Gacutan and Barrica had 11 apiece.
Adamson (7-3) takes on the De La Salle University Green Spikers (3-6) on Saturday, 8 a.m. at the PhilSports Arena. FEU (5-5) looks for their first second round win on Sunday also at the PhilSports Arena when they face the University of the East Warriors (0-10) on 8 a.m.
AdU (3) – Sarmiento 15, Sudaria 12, Pletado 10, Ramirez 6, Saraza 5, Pletado 4, Yude 0, Consunji 0, Mediolla (L), Melgar (L)
FEU (1) – Garcia 13, Barrica 11, Gacutan 11, Dolor 8, Paler 5, Quiel 5, Solis 4, Villegas 2, Margate 1, Silang 0, Suarez 0, Marmeto L. (L), Marmeto R. (L)