MANILA, Philippines -- University of Santo Tomas (UST) shut down Tony Koyfman in a thrilling final rally to hack out a five-set victory over the Ateneo de Manila University in the UAAP Season 81 men's volleyball tournament on Wednesday.
The Growling Tigers wasted a two-set advantage, but showed their poise in the fifth set for a 25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 19-25, 15-12 triumph -- their first of the tournament.
Wewe Medina scored 22 points, Joshua Umandal added 20, while Jaron Requinton added 14 points for the Growling Tigers, who bounced back from a five-set loss to Adamson University last Sunday.
UST's net defense was on point, as they tallied 14 kill blocks in the game. This was on display in the final rally of the game, when they denied the towering Koyfman four times before Medina punched the match-winner past the Ateneo wall.
Jayvee Sumagaysay added 12 points, while Timothy Tajanlangit earned Player of the Game honors after tallying 32 excellent sets on top of his five points.
Ateneo dropped to 1-1 in the tournament as well. Koyfman led the Blue Eagles with 22 points, while John Rivera (15), Ron Medalla (11) and Chu Njigha (10) also reached double-digits.
In the other men's game, Far Eastern University (FEU) remained perfect after dismissing University of the Philippines (UP) in four sets, 25-13, 25-18, 23-25, 25-18.
Save for the third frame, it was smooth-sailing for the Tamaraws who improved to 2-0 in Season 81.
"Medyo nag-relax 'yung bata pagdating ng third set. Tapos, ang dami kasi nating errors, so nagka-problema kami sa errors," said FEU coach Rey Diaz, whose wards committed 26 miscues against UP.
The Tamaraws had only 9 errors in their straight sets victory over National University last Saturday. According to Diaz, this is just part of the progress of the team.
"Part of growing up nga, lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila. Kasama sa laro 'yun, wala namang perfect. At saka 'yung kalaban, UP, talagang ako humahanga ako sa puso ng UP," he added.
It was another balanced effort for FEU, with skipper Richard Solis leading the way with 14 points, and JP Bugaoan scoring 13 markers, including 3 blocks. The Tamaraws had a big lead in kills (51-41) and blocks (11-4) against the Maroons.
Mac Millette led UP with 19 points. The Fighting Maroons are now 0-2 in the men's volleyball tournament.
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