MANILA – The UST Golden Spikers seized a sixth straight victory as they clawed the skidding UE Red Warriors in the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament.
The Golden Spikers eked out a 28-26, 25-16, 20-25, 25-22 win over UE at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday to stay at solo second in the tournament.
UST is now holding an 8-1 win-loss card, behind the league-leader NU Bulldogs who have a perfect 8-0 slate. Meanwhile, the Red Warriors suffered their sixth straight loss for a 2-7 standing.
Super rookie Josh Ybanez was once again pivotal in UST’s game as he finished with 23 points on 20 attacks, two blocks, and an ace.
Gboy de Vega had an all-around performance with 17 points to go along with 17 receptions and five digs.
After dropping the third set, the Golden Spikers stepped on the gas pedal as Ybanez sparked a 4-0 run for an 11-6 lead.
Emman Dedoroy kept UST’s five-point separation after a perfectly executed combination play, 13-8. But UE went for a 7-2 run midway of the fourth – thanks to several miscues of the Tigers to tie the score at 17.
A service error of UE, however, started another 4-0 spurt of UST to create a 22-18 breather in the latter part of the frame.
A net touch called against UST skipper Lorence Cruz gave the Red Warriors some hope, 22-24, but De Vega took the matter into his own hands to end the match.
Giles Torres and Kenneth Culabat paced UE with 12 points apiece. They also capitalized on pile of errors of UST which reached to 36 in just four sets.
UAAP Season 85 is streaming on iWantTFC every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.