With the race for a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four getting tighter each game day, the Adamson Falcons solidified their hold on the no. 2 spot with a four-set bashing of the UP Fighting Maroons 25-21, 20-25, 25-20, 25-17 at the San Juan Arena.
The Falcons showed a few chinks in their armor as UP’s taller and lankier blockers bothered the high-flying Falcons, especially in the second set which UP stole by carefully reading Adamson’s combination plays and loading up their serves. UP came away with a 15-11 block advantage. The boys from San Marcelino made up for this with their overwhelmingly balanced offense. They were spearheaded by their team captain, Mike Sudaria, who notched 17 points off 15 attacks, a block, and an ace along with Lyceum University transferee, Brian Saraza, who dished out 16 points of 11 attacks and five blocks. Adamson’s signature floor defense was also on full display as their Libero, Rence Melgar, tallied 11 digs and nine excellent receptions.
After dropping a tightly contested first set, the Maroons handily took the second and looked like they were ready to nab the third frame as well, leading midway 16-12. A flood of spikes from Adamson’s Brian Saraza and Mike Sudaria followed, allowing the Falcons to take the lead, 21-17. From there up to the end of the match, Adamson setter, Nico Ramirez, did a marvelous job of keeping Adamson’s attacks unpredictable while even throwing down a few spikes himself.
The Maroons were led by their team captain, Julius Raymundo who notched 17 points while four other Maroons – Alex Hernandez, Wendel Miguel, Alfred Valbuena, Jon Abuda – each pitched in 10 points.
The win puts Adamson still at second place with a 10-3 record with their last game coming against the National University at the San Juan Arena on Feb 21. UP’s loss drops them to 4-8, good for sixth place. UP’s next game comes against the UST Tigers on Wednesday at the MoA Arena.
Adamson – Sudaria 17, Saraza 16, Pletado 10, Ramirez 9, David 5, Sarmiento 4, Yude 4, Mallapre 0, Pablico 0, Melgar (L)
UP – Raymundo 17, Miguel 10, Valbuena 10, Abuda 10, Hernandez 10, Cabatingan 4, Diaz 0, Dela Paz 0, Nicandro (L)