UAAP: Josh Ybanez drops 31 to lead UST over Ateneo

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 15 2023 07:31 PM | Updated as of Mar 15 2023 08:15 PM

Photo from UAAP Media Bureau
Photo from UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA – Super rookie Josh Ybanez tallied a career-high 31 points to rally the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Spikers over the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament. 

The Golden Spikers registered its third straight victory after defeating the Blue Eagles 21-25, 28-26, 25-21, 25-21, at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City Wednesday. 

The Golden Spikers are now tied with the FEU Tamaraws with a 5-1 card for second spot, behind the still undefeated NU Bulldogs, 5-0. Meanwhile, Ateneo dropped to a 2-4 slate.

Ybanez had 26 attacks, three blocks, and two aces while Gboy de Vega added 20 points to offset the 39 errors committed by UST in the match. 

“Masaya kasi we get the W pero it could have been better kasi may game plan kami coming into this match. Pero yung dalawang player ko sa zone 2 hindi sumusunod. Overall performance, syempre ito na namang si small but terrible and middles naman nag-step up so na-balance naman,” head coach Odjie Mamon said. 

It was a tight start in the fourth set but Ybanez broke the 11 deadlock with a back-to-back block to Ken Batas for a 13-11 lead. 

Ateneo would steal the lead momentarily after a couple of errors from UST but Ybanez once again took over, sparking a mini 4-0 spurt for a 19-16 gap.

De Vega scored back-to-back attacks to push UST near the victory before a pipe attack of Ybanez made it a 23-18 game and never looked back

Canciano Llenos led the Blue Eagles with 17 points while Jian Salarzon had 15 markers.