MANILA, Philippines – The University of Santo Tomas came back from a 0-2 loss set and lived to fight another day after beating National University, 21-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25- 23, 15-12, in the final. Men’s Collegiate Challenge V-League Men’s Collegiate Challenge at Paco Arena.
Rookies Josh Ybañez and Gboy De Vega played like veterans as they collectively racked up 59 points to lead UST’s comeback. Ybañez scored 25 points from 19 excellent digs and 8 excellent contacts while De Vega dropped 24 points with 15 hits.
Dux Yambao, another top rookie, also played a key role in stopping the Bulldogs’ winning streak in eighth place and knocking out their sweeping bid. Yambao produced 20 excellent sets based on 8 points built on 5 attacks, 2 kills, and one trump card.
“Use every opportunity as a learning experience. Self-taught, you can determine what works and keep doing it. Identify your shortcomings and improve on them,” said UST head coach Odjie Mamon, sharing what he told his wards after NU took a 2-0 lead.
He added: “I told them to focus on studying when we were down.
Tiger Spikers and Bulldogs contest the crown on Friday. NU won the first game in consecutive sets, 25-19, 25-21, 25-19, last Sunday.
After UST came back with consecutive wins of their own, the Tiger Spikers kept the momentum of that massive surge and took the lead, 9-5, in the deciding set, then made it 12-7 later. a kill from Ybañez.
The Bulldogs responded with four points to threaten in round one but De Vega scored from the back row and Ybañez delivered an ace to push UST at the match point.
Michael Buddin scored from a touchdown to keep the Bulldogs on the hunt but Edlyn Paul Colinares beat him on NU’s subsequent foul to prevent Tiger’s unlikely comeback. Spikers against a team that beat seasoned teams at Spikers’ Turf recently.
Buddin scored 27 points for NU, which also scored 18 points, 21 tackles and six dugouts from Nico Almendras while Kennry Malinis finished with 11 points.
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