Adamson gets back on track, beats UST to earn Final 4 spot
MANILA, Philippines — Adamson rebounded from a listless outing last week with a crucial win over the undermanned University of Santo Tomas, 23-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-17, to assure itself of a Final Four slot Saturday in the UAAP Season 77 men’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Falcons, coming off a straight-sets loss to Ateneo last Sunday, redeemed themselves behind a total team effort led by Bryan Saraza and Michael Sudaria.
“I was surprised with how we played against Ateneo,” said Adamson head coach Domingo Custodio in Filipono. “But today they were able to respond. UST is also a strong team.”
Saraza scored 17 points while Sudaria had 13 to help the Falcons improve to 8-2 and join the Blue Eagles, who also won in four sets over defending champion National University earlier, in first place.
Adamson frustrated a shorthanded UST side, which played without three starters in Romnick Rico, Patrick Balse and setter Paul Castillo.
According to UST head coach Odjie Mamon, Rico, Castillo and Balse are “under suspension” as a “disciplinary action.” Mamon though, refused to discuss further details regardeing the three players’ suspension saying that they are still “under investigation.”
MVP candidate Mark Alfafara poured in 23 points but he had to bleed for his points with the Falcons’ disciplined defense focused on him. Alfafara converted only 17 out of 46 attempted hits.
“That’s what we really focused on during long hours of practice,” said Custodio of his team’s defense. “We spent our practices to work on our blocking and it showed today.”
As a result, the Tigers also had 38 errors compared to the Falcons’ 24.
Dave Pletado and Jerome Sarmiento added 10 points apiece for Adamson, which built big leads in each of the last three sets.
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