It was such a rare occurrence that no one from the University of the East side could remember if it had happened before.
The Red Warriors scored their biggest win of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Volleyball Tournament, slipping past the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Spikers, 27-25, 24-26, 25-22, 18-25, 17-15 at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
UE needed all the effort from athletic middle blocker Lloyd Josafat to outlast UST in the fifth set. Losing a 13-10 lead, the Red Warriors outclassed UST in the deuce thanks to back-to-back game-winning blocks from the rookie.
“Hinihintay ko lang talagang pumasok si Lloyd (Josafat). Mas malaking factor sa amin si Lloyd kapag nasa loob kasi ‘yung height advantage na ‘yung labanan,” said first year UE head coach Victorio Turing.
“Mas malaki yung blockings namin, para hindi pumasok yung bola sa amin. Mas may harang kami. Hinihintay ko lang na kapitan, makapasok lang si Lloyd, siguro ito sa amin ito,” he added.
Turing also lauded his players’ determination to end their five-game losing streak. The Red Warriors ended the first round with a 2-5 record.
“Lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila na hangga’t naglalaro pa kami, kaya naming manalo. Sinasabi ko sa kanila lagi na hindi ko kailangan ng individual play, kailangang maglaro tayo as isang team,” he shared.
Josafat finished with 16 points from 11 attacks and five blocks, while Al-John Abalon added 13 markers.
UST played without starting open hitter Joshua Umandal, who was out due to an illness. Manuel Medina topped the Tiger Spikers with 30 points, while middle blocker Jayvee Sumagaysay added 17. UST surrendered a season-high 50 errors to UE’s 34
UST’s bid for a Final Four spot took a hit as they close the first round with a 3-4 card, half a game behind fourth place Adamson (3-3).
UE (3) – Josafat 16, Abalon 13, Inoferio 11, Ortega 8, Alba 5, Imperial 3, Cacayan 1, Adriano 0, Imperial 0, Medina (L), Solis (L)
UST (2) – Medina 30, Sumagaysay 17, Tajanlangit J. 12, Corda 6, Buro 6, Valenzuela 4, Tajanlangit T. 3, Requinton 2, Casilan 0, Mendiolla (L), Sawal (L)