Ybañez, de Vega power UST past gritty Adamson to cap Round 1

Photo by Jianzen Deananeas/ THE FLAME

THE UST Golden Spikers capped off the first round of the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament with a hard-fought five-set victory against the Adamson Soaring Falcons, 25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 23-25, 15-10, on Saturday.

The tandem of Josh Ybañez and Gboy de Vega spearheaded UST’s offense throughout the thrilling encounter at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

In the opening set, Ybañez and Jay Rack dela Noche combined for crucial points, including back-to-back attacks and a service ace, to secure a 15-12 lead. UST capitalized on Adamson’s errors to clinch the first set, 25-18.

Adamson fought back in the second set, ignited by a fiery 7-2 run sparked by team captain John Gay’s service ace.

Despite Ybañez’s impressive eight attacks, the Falcons maintained its momentum, led by Gay, to capture the second set, 25-21.

Unfazed by the second frame loss, Ybañez and de Vega continued their offensive dominance. Opposite hitter Sherwin Umandal joined the scoring party for the Tigers with a crosscourt kill and two consecutive blocks, propelling UST to a 20-17 lead.

De Vega then displayed his power with a successful pipe attack, securing the third salvo for UST, 25-19.

The Falcons clawed their way back in the fourth set. Despite Ybañez’s continued efforts, the Falcons, led by Gay, edged out a narrow 25-23 set-win, forcing a deciding fifth set.

The pressure mounted in the crucial fifth set, yet Umandal’s precise crosscourt kill and de Vega’s solid block gave UST a commanding 10-6 lead.

Adamson’s unforced errors sealed its fate as Ybañez and de Vega powered UST to a 15-10 victory.

UST assistant head coach Benjamin Mape credited the win for fostering the team’s character and patience.

“The kids learned to fight up to the end because that was our problem in our three straight losses. But for this game we’ve developed their character building,” he said.

“They should play until the last point, the game is not over until the referee whistles the end of the game.”

Reigning rookie-MVP Ybañez paced UST’s offense with 24 points, including 22 attacks and two service aces, while de Vega contributed 20 points.

Francis Casas led Adamson’s scoring with 15 points, while Gay and Paolo Paulino chipped in 14 and 12 points, respectively.

The second round of the tournament will commence after the Easter break. F

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Contact Us