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UAAP POW Josh Ybañez leads UST to epic victory despite illness


Despite battling the flu, Josh Ybanez still showed up. That’s what leaders do.

Ybañez had a historic statistical stretch as he exploded for a new career-high of 34 points to go with 25 excellent receptions on Sunday, leading UST to sweep the elimination round against three-time defending champion NU.

This time, it was a five-set turnaround from a 0-2 deficit, with a final score of 28-30, 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-9.

With this series of outstanding performances, the UAAP Season 85 Most Valuable Player was awarded the Collegiate Press Corps’ UAAP Player of the Week award, presented by the San Miguel Corporation, for leading the Golden Spikers to big wins for the period of March 20 to 24.

“Masaya naman po ako kasi, actually, kahit hindi ko nakikita ‘yung score, basta kaya kong mag-contribute sa team, kahit sa anong pamamaraan, sa malakas man o sa mahina, gagawin ko po ‘yun,” said Ybañez, who won his second straight weekly citation.

The reigning MVP edged out Ateneo’s Jian Salarzon and Ken Batas, NU’s Jade Disquitado, Adamson’s Francis Casas, and FEU’s Jayjay Javelona.

“Sobrang happy ako kasi it’s a collaborative effort. Nag-contribute lang ako, pero ‘yung team ang nagpanalo,” added Ybañez.

This Sunday stunner was a timely erasure of the Golden Spikers’ painful memory on Wednesday, where they fell in five sets to underdog Ateneo, 22-25, 26-24, 25-23, 26-28, 15-9, and wasted Ybañez’s previous career-best scoring mark of 33.

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