MANILA – University of Santo Tomas hung tough in the fourth set to beat Far Eastern University and secure a semifinal berth in the 2023 Men's V-League Collegiate Challenge at Paco Arena in Manila on Sunday.
Outside hitter Josh Ybañez sizzled with 33 points -- 29 on attacks -- and had three blocks and an ace for the Tiger Spikers, who escaped with a 25-22, 26-24, 20-25, 25-18 victory after one hour and 58 minutes.
Middle blocker Flor Rainier scored 11 points and three blocks, outside hitter Rey Miguel De Vega chipped in 10 points while libero siblings Nathaniel and Van Tracy Prudenciano made seven and six excellent digs, respectively, for UST.
"I think yung blocking at digging namin worked today, which is 'yung focus naman talaga ng training namin. On that aspect masaya ko (I think our blocking and digging worked today, which is really the focus of our training. On that aspect, I am happy)," coach Odjie Mamon said after the match.
UST's next game will be against Ateneo on Sept. 10.
"We'll prepare for Ateneo. Hindi lang kami dapat dumepensa dun, dapat sumuntok rin kami (We shouldn't only defend there, we should also hit)," Mamon said.
Opposite hitter Zhydryx Saavedra and middle blocker Martin Bugaoan finished with 12 points each for the Tamaraws, who also got 11 points from outside hitter Jerold Talisayan.
Bugaoan and middle blocker Lirick Mendoza had five and four blocks, respectively.
Meanwhile, Emilio Aguinaldo College rallied past San Beda University, 14-25, 22-25, 25-23, 25-17, 15-11, to nail its first win in five matches.
Opposite hitter Frelwin Taculog led the Generals with 13 points, three service aces and one block, while middle blocker Jester Noel Bornel scored 15 points, 13 of them on attacks.
"Para sa akin, magandang halimbawa sila, kahit pa kami ay naghahanap pa ng mga tao na pwedeng pumosisyon na maaaring namin dalhin sa NCAA. Maganda na makita na mayroon silang potensyal (For me, they are a good example, even though we are still looking for people who can take positions that we can bring to the NCAA. Good to see they have the potential)," coach Rod Palmero said, referring to Taculog and Bornel.
Opposite hitter Kevin Montemayor finished with 20 points and middle blocker Andrei Bakil contributed 15 points for the Red Spikers, who absorbed their fourth consecutive loss. (PNA)