UST outlasts NU in thrilling five sets


UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas (UST) stamped its class once again on rival and three-time defending champion National University (NU) with a scintillating 28-30, 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-9 reverse sweep to stabilize its Final Four drive in the UAAP men’s volleyball tournament on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Reigning MVP Joshua Ybañez tallied a new career-high of 34 points on 31 hits, two blocks and an ace as the Golden Spikers scored a repeat win over the Bulldogs in the second meeting between last season’s finalists for a 5-4 slate to gain a share of the fourth seed with Ateneo de Manila University.

The streak-busters that they were, the Golden Spikers in the process snapped the Bulldogs’ seven-game run after ending the latter’s 34-game, five-year winning spree via sweep back in the opener, 25-23, 26-24, 25-23.

Making it happen were John Sherwin Umandal and Gboy de Vega, who complemented Mr. Ybañez with 15 and 11 points, respectively, in a marvelous comeback for the Season 85 runner-up from two sets down. Dux Yambao orchestrated it with 26 sets.

Prized rookie Jade Disqiuitado (20), Leo Aringo (19), Nico Almendras (13) and Obed Mukaba (12) led the Bulldogs, who slid to 7-2 to surrender the solo lead to Far Eastern University (7-1). — John Bryan Ulanday