Far Eastern University evaded the upset axe of University of Santo Tomas, 25-21, 24-26, 20-25, 25-22, 15-12, in the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Volleyball Tournament, Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Behind Jude Garcia’s efforts, the Tamaraws endured a fierce surge from the feisty Tiger Spikers. They rallied from a one-set deficit, before emerging unscathed for their second win.
Garcia poured 27 points, scattering 21 attacks, three blocks, and three aces. Moreover, he was at the forefront of FEU’s scoring barrage in the fourth and fifth sets.
The Tamaraws uncorked five unanswered points to open the final frame, but the Tiger Spikers countered with their own spurt to slice the deficit down to two, 7-9.
After exchanging blows, Garcia and Peter Quiel made two clutch hits, lifting FEU to match point, 14-11. Jau Umandal and Vaughn Valenzuela then resuscitated UST’s comeback hopes with a pair of crucial plays of their own.
But Garcia quickly took the life out of the Tigers.
FEU head coach Rey Diaz lauded UST for bringing the fight and pushing his wards to the limit.
“Galing ng UST eh. Ang maganda siyempre na test ‘yung kakayahan natin tsaka binigyan tayo ng magandang blessing nakuha natin,” Diaz said.
The troika of JJ Javelona, JP Bugaoan, and Mark Calado provided ample support in the escape act. Javelona and Bugaoan tallied 13 markers apiece, while Calado had a double-double of 12 points and 10 digs.
Owen Suarez orchestrated FEU’s offense to the tune of 29 excellent sets, taking care of Vince Lorenzo’s 24 receptions and eight digs.
FEU gave up 43 errors to UST’s 33, but more than made up for it with a 60-51 disparity in attacks, 12-9 differential in blocks, and 4-3 edge in blocks.
Nonetheless, Diaz hopes that the Tamaraws will learn their lesson and avoid engaging in uphill battles.
“I hope na realize ng players weaknesses and lapses, alam naman nila ‘yan. Kailangan lang mag-sink in,” the FEU mentor said.
On the other hand, UST remained winless in two matches.
Umandal saw his 21-point production go down the drain. Lorenz Señoron and Wewe Medina managed 17 and 10 markers, respectively.
FEU’s next assignment is Adamson University on Wednesday, March 11, at the SM MoA. Meanwhile, UST shall face De La Salle University on Sunday, March 15, at the PhilSports Arena.