San Beda University fended off the challenge of University of the Philippines in four grueling sets, 21-25, 25-16, 28-26, 26-24, and took its first win of the 2022 V-League Collegiate Challenge, Saturday afternoon at the Paco Arena Sports and Events Center in Manila.
The win pulled San Beda and UP into a share of second place with 1-1 win-loss records, behind solo leader Ateneo de Manila University at 2-0.
In that tight fourth set, the Red Spikers finally closed out the match after three match points off a Ken Umali serve, which the Fighting Maroons could not return.
Head coach Ariel Dela Cruz said, “Super happy kami kasi lahat ng ginawa namin sa training, nagbunga naman. Kanina naman nakita mo, hindi naman ako pwedeng mag-stuck lang sa kung sino yung first six, sila na lang maglalaro. Kaya lagi ko lang sinasabihan yung mga bata na mag-prepare.”
Umali ended with 15 points off 11 attacks, three blocks, and a service ace for San Beda, while fellow outside hitter Kevin Montemayor added 16 markers on 13 spikes.
It was the solid distribution of setter and captain Jerome Lopez that set the tone for the Bedans with 19 excellent sets to go with two markers.
The Red Spikers will try to go for a second straight win against Far Eastern University on Sunday at 10 a.m.
Louis Gamban carried UP with 19 points on 18 attacks and one service ace, while Ranz Cajolo added 11 markers on 10 spikes and a block.
The Fighting Maroons will face University of Perpetual Help System DALTA also on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Both games will still be at same Paco venue.