UAAP: UST secures men's volleyball Final Four berth after sweep of Ateneo | Inquirer Sports

UAAP: UST secures men’s volleyball Final Four berth after sweep of Ateneo

/ 10:13 PM April 15, 2023

Josh Ybanez and the UST Golden Spikers in the UAAP men's volleyball tournament. -UAAP PHOTO

Josh Ybanez and the UST Golden Spikers in the UAAP men’s volleyball tournament. -UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — University of Santo Tomas clinched a Final Four berth after sweeping Ateneo,  25-23, 25-19, 25-21, in the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament on Saturday at Philsports Arena.

Super rookie Josh Ybanez led the Golden Spikers anew with 15 points, hitting 14 of 28 attacks, and tallying 11 receptions and nine digs for their eighth straight win to improve to a 10-1 record to make their return to the post-elimination since missing the Season 81 semifinals in 2019.


UST missed coach Odjie Mamon and Jay Rack De La Noche, who are in Japan for the Philippine men’s volleyball team’s training camp ahead of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia next month.


Rainer Flor stepped up with 13 points, while GBoy De Vega added 12 points including two blocks. Dux Yambao paced UST with 22 excellent sets.

UST Golden Spikers' GBoy De Vega. –UAAP PHOTO

UST Golden Spikers’ GBoy De Vega. –UAAP PHOTO

“We executed well because we trust each other. Before we played Coach Odjie and Coach [Benjamin] Mape gave their reminders. We helped each other,” said De Vega in Filipino after being hailed as the player of the game.

UST assistant coach Benjamin Mape, who called the shots for the Golden Spikers, bared that Mamon will fly back to the country on Sunday, while De La Vega is likely to return in the Final Four.

“Our players did well even our head coach wasn’t here. At the same time, even he’s not here, he still supervised the team,” said Mape. “Even during the game, he gives us the much-needed adjustment.”

Ateneo absorbed its second straight defeat, sliding to a 5-6 record.

Jian Salarzon, who scored 30 points in their five-set loss to University of the Philippines last Wednesday, was limited to just 10 points on a 9-of-32 attacking clip.


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TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, UAAP, UAAP Season 85, UST Tiger Spikers

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