UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas needed to work hard for its sixth straight win, outlasting University of the East in four sets, 28-26, 25-16, 20-25, 25-22, in the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament, Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Golden Spikers rose to 8-1 overall, while the Red Warriors fell to their sixth straight loss at 2-7, still in the sixth spot.
“A W is a W… Yesterday, nagalit ako sa training birthday na birthday ko kasi they were lax, they were complacent pero ano naman yung preparation namin hanggang sa dulo so okay pa ito pero hindi na pupwede sa next two games,” said head coach Odjie Mamon after UST continued to keep within distance of defending champion National University.
The Golden Spikers climbed back from a 10-5 hole in the second set with a massive 15-6 run to go up 2-0, 25-16.
But the Red Warriors showed their fight in the third as Kenneth Culabat and Axel Defeo joined hands while UST committed costly errors as UE forced an extension, 25-20.
Gboy de Vega, though, willed the Golden Spikers in the fourth to finish the match in one hour and 43 minutes.
Josh Ybañez led UST anew with 23 points on 20 attacks, two blocks, and a service ace, while De Vega added 17 points, 17 excellent receptions, and five digs.
Middle blocker Rainier Flor added 13 points as the Golden Spikers gave up 36 free points to UE with their errors.
Culabat and Giles Torres made 12 points apiece for the Red Warriors while JP Mangahis and Lloyd Josafat chipped in eight and seven points, respectively.
Both teams will return on Sunday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
UE will open the day at 10 a.m. against Far Eastern University while UST will face De La Salle University at 4 p.m.
Watch the UAAP Season 85 Collegiate Volleyball Tournament on the UAAP Varsity Channel (Ch. 263 HD). Available on Prepaid Loads 300 & up (valid for 30 days).