University of the Philippines open hitter Alfred Valbuena was unstoppable, leading the Fighting Maroons past the San Beda College Red Spikers, 25-23, 25-19, 25-16, in the 2016 Spikers’ Turf Collegiate Conference at the PhilSports Arena.
Team captain Valbuena fired off 20 points on an incendiary 20-for-27 attacking clip. The Maroons were a combined 47-for-94 on attacks, signifying San Beda’s struggle on the service line and defense.
San Beda kept it close in the first set, plugging away at a four-point UP cushion to threaten the Maroons at set point, 24-23. But the Maroons saved the point, and from then on dominated the Red Spikers. The Maroons built an early five-point lead, 19-14, in the second set then bolted ahead, 23-15, in the third set to close the match.
Mac Millete added 10 points to the Maroon cause, while Gian San Pascual and Niccolo Consuela provider eight and six markers, respectively.
“Noong huli naming laban, masyado silang na-pressure. Kaya sabi namin sa kanila ngayon, just enjoy the game. Kita naman na mas magaan ang galaw nila,” said UP assistant coach Melchor Santos about their five-set loss to UAAP rivals University of Santo Tomas.
San Beda team captain Alfie Masacariñas led his team with 10 points, while guest player Berlin Paglinawan managed eight points in just two sets of play.
UP (3-1) need to win their upcoming match against UAAP champions, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles (4-0), on August 29, 12 nn, at the PhilSports Arena, to solidify their hold on a semifinal spot in Group B. San Beda (0-4) aim for their first win in their final match of the season against the National College for Business and Arts Wildcats (0-4) on August 27, 10 am, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
UP (3) – Valbuena 20, Millete 10, San Pascual 9, Consuela 8, Castillo 6, San Pedro 1, Baldelovar 0, Chucuco 0, Nasol 0, Luna (L)
SBC (0) – Mascariñas 10, Paglinawan 8, Viray 6, Santos 5, Torres 4, Desuyo 3, Manliclic 3, Zabala 3, Gonzales 0, Patenio 0, Casin (L), Nicandro (L)