The Adamson University Falcons survived another strong challenge, dispatching the lowly University of Santo Tomas Tigers in four gruelling sets 25-12, 18-25, 25-21, 25-22 to end the first round of the UAAP Men’s Volleyball Tournament on a six-game winning streak at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Adamson came out of the locker room on fire, challenging every UST attack at the net. Falcons’ middle blocker, Dave Pletado did most of the damage as the Adamson cruised to a 20-10 lead. From there, Adamson utilized quick and combination plays to seal the first set.
Adjusting their lineup, the Tigers found a spark in senior middle hitter, Jason Sarabia in the second frame. Sarabia’s quick hits and blocks came at a critical juncture, boosting the Tigers to a 22-16 advantage. From there the Tigers strutted their blocking anew, netting of the last three points on stuffed hits.
The following sets were the tightest of the match with both squads trading share of the lead early. Tied at 17 in the third frame, the Falcons pulled away after two UST errors then a Pao Pablico block on Wendel Medina. The Tigers threatened to keep the set close, scoring two straight points off Adamson errors, 20-19. But Adamson responded immediately, working off their floor and net defense to get spike opportunities. Distributing the ball magnificently, AdU setter Nikko Ramirez towed the Falcons to five of the last eight points of the set.
UST was ahead for much of the third set until AdU’s Jerome Sarmiento gave the UST reception fits. Trailing 17-20, Sarmiento nailed two aces in a 3-0 Adamson rally to force a tie. From there, Adamson’s veteran spikers took over, trading blows with the Tigers until a Mike Sudaria block gave the match to the Falcons.
Dave Pletado unloaded a game-high 19 points, Mike Sudaria tallied 15, while Bryan Saraza and Jeroma had 13 and 11 markers respectively.
“Sakit talaga namin ‘yun. Kapag nanalo kami nang isang set, parang nagiging masyado kaming kumpiyansa. Kaya kailangan masolusyunan na namin ‘yun sa susunod,” said AdU team captain, Mike Sudaria.
The Falcons are now on top of the standings with a 6-1 record.
“Last season, ganito din ang record namin pero hindi namin na-sustain pagdating nang sunod na round. This season, ang goal namin madala lahat ng momentum namin ngayon para makapag-Finals na kami,” Sudaria remarked.
Rookie Manuel Medina tallied 15 points for the Tigers while Jason Sarabia finished with 10.
The Tigers fall to 1-5 with a match afainst the DLSU Spikers left on Wednesday, 8 a.m. at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
AdU (3) – Pletado 19, Sudaria 15, Saraza 13, Sarmiento 11, Pablico 8, Ramirez 4, Yude 1, Consunji 0, Mendiolla (L), Melgar (L)
UST (1) – Medina 15, Sarabia 10, Carodab 8, Balse 7, Bautista 6, Tajanlangit 3, Amagan 2, Castillo 1, Sumagaysay 0, Pangan (L)