In a rematch of their Final Four playoff last season, the Adamson University Soaring Falcons avenged their ousting, handling the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Spikers, 33-31, 23-25, 16-25, 25-15, 16-14, to open their UAAP Season 81 Men’s Volleyball Tournament campaign at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Falcons won gritty, back-and-forth sets with their unrelenting floor defense. Skipper Pao Pablico scored the crucial points in the decider that pushed the Falcons to the win.
“Maganda nga po kasi last year nga po sila ‘yung naglaglag sa amin. Maganda motivation sa amin na makuha ‘yung game against sa kanila,” said Pablico who finished with 23 points.
The Soaring Falcons split their two elimination round games with the Tiger Spikers last year. Their last match set up a playoff between the squads for the last Final Four spot.
“Inisip lang po namin na ‘di pa tapos ‘yung game kahit lamang na sila sa set. Alam namin na kaya naming magsipag pa,” he added.
Leo Miranda tallied 13 markers to pace Adamson University.
Burly open hitter Joshua Umandal powered in 22 points to lead UST, while captain Manuel Medina added 16. The Tigers surrendered a whopping 46 errors, continuing a habit from last season.
The Falcons (1-0) take on the De La Salle University Spikers (0-0) on Saturday. On the other hand, UST (0-1) will try to bounce back against Ateneo De Manila University (0-0). Both matches will be at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
AdU (3) – Pablico 23, Miranda 13, Alvarez 9, Labang 8, Alicando 6, Jimenez 6, Bello 2, Amburgo 0, Nuguid 0, Valdez (L)
UST (2) – Umandal 22, Medina 16, Requinton 8, Sumagaysay 8, Corda 7, Buro 4, Carodan 4, Casillan 0, Del Rosario 0, Sawal (L)