UAAP: Josh Ybanez scores 31 to lift UST past Ateneo in men’s volleyball
MANILA, Philippines — Josh Ybanez unleashed a career-high 31 points as University of Santo Tomas recovered from a slow start before beating Ateneo, 21-25, 28-26, 25-21, 25-21, in the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at FilOil EcoOil Centre.
The 19-year-old rookie continued to shine for the Golden Spikers as he nailed 26 attacks, three blocks, and two aces to go with 14 excellent receptions and eight digs to lift his team from a first-set loss and still prevail in their two-hour match against the Blue Eagles.
“I’m so happy because I didn’t expect to score a lot of points. I’m hoping for more [games like this],” said Ybanez in Filipino.
UST coach Odjie Mamon, whose team earned its third straight win for a 5-2 record tied with Far Eastern University, said their victory “could have been better” but he still taking their success after Ybanez carried the cudgels anew.
“We got the win but it could have been better because we have a game plan coming into this match. My two players from zone two (Jay Rack De La Noche and Dux Yambao) were not following But overall performance, this small but terrible [player] and our middles stepped up,” said Mamon in Filipino.
“We’re still grooming and nurturing Josh. Even if we let him alone, he will keep on scoring but we want him to play under the system and be in sync with his teammates,” he added.
GBoy De Vega also stepped up for UST with 20 points and 18 receptions, while Dela Noche chipped in 13 points, including three blocks.
The Golden Spikers gave up 39 errors but Mamon was still pleased.
“We’re not UST if we will have a few errors. No biggie. I’d rather have this number of errors with a win. High risk, high reward because we can serve strong,” he said.
Ateneo slid to 2-4 with Abai Llenos and Jian Salarzon leading the way with 17 and 15 points, respectively. Ken Batas added 10 markers.