UAAP volleyball: UST Golden Spikers, FEU Tamaraws share early lead

Gboy De Vega UST Golden Spikers UAAP volleyball

UST Golden Spikers’ Gboy De Vega tries to score against the UE Red Warriors in the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament.–UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University seized the early 2-0 lead in the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament after overcoming separate foes on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

UST needed to fight back from a six-point deficit in the third set before fending off University of the East, 28-26, 25-19, 26-24, for the share of the UAAP lead.

The Golden Spikers crawled back from a 14-20 deficit and erased a 20-23 disadvantage as they scored four straight points capped by Dux Yambao’s back-to-back blocks to reach match point, 24-23, only to commit a four touches violation that allowed the Red Warriors to save a point.

SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 volleyball first round

“I told them to hang tight and I will take care of the blocks, said Yambao in Filipino after dishing out 20 excellent sets on top of five points including three blocks.

Reigning MVP Josh Ybañez and GBoy De Vega nailed two consecutive attacks to seal UST’s second win, following a big straight-set win over defending champion National University three days ago.

UST Golden Spikers.–UAAP PHOTO

“Our character was tested today even though this is not a five-setter because we had tough battles in the first and third sets. We may have an immaculate record but we had a lot of plays,” said UST coach Odjie Mamon in Filipino after his wards committed 26 errors.

De Vega led UST with 14 points on top of 18 excellent receptions, and five digs. Ybañez chipped in 12 points and 15 receptions, while  Paul Colinares added 10 points. 

UE slid to a 0-2 record with Joshua Pozas and John Aligayon leading the way with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, Dryx Saavedra poured in  20 points off 18 attacks and two blocks to keep FEU unbeaten in two games after edging La Salle, 25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 25-17.

Setter Ariel Cacao made 24 excellent sets with five digs to anchor the Tamaraws’ offense as Martin Bugaoan and Andrei Delicana contributed 16 and 13 points, respectively.

“This is a good start for us because these two wins will build the confidence of our team moving forward,” said Cacao.

La Salle dropped to a 1-1 record with Vince Maglinao carrying the Green Spikers with 20 points, 18 excellent receptions, and five digs. JM Ronquillo had 19 points, while Noel Kampton added 14 points and 21 receptions.

UST eyes its third win against La Salle on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena, while FEU also tries to stay unbeaten against winless UE.