THE UST Tiger Spikers crumbled under the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 25-21, 25-17, 25-18, in the 1st Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the Arena in San Juan Saturday.
Ateneo remained on top of the standings with a clean 3-0 slate while UST dropped to second place at 2-1.
With UST up by one in the third set, 14-13, the Eagles sparked a 12-4 run capped by Gian Glorioso’s block to walk away unscathed, 25-18.
Up by one point, 5-4, the Eagles staged a 13-6 rally in the middle of the second set to build an 18-10 lead. A down-the-line hit from Karl Baysa clinched the set for the Eagles.
“First one, we had difficulty on attacking and number two, ‘yung middle blocker ko hindi nakatutok,” UST coach Odjie Mamon told the Varsitarian.
With the first set seemingly in favor of the Eagles, the Tiger Spikers mounted a 7-2 run late to close the gap, 21-24. But Ateneo’s Ishmael Rivera spoiled the comeback with an off-the-block hit, 25-21.
Former UAAP Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo led Ateneo with 17 points while Rivera chipped in 10 markers.
Joshua Umandal was the lone Tiger Spiker in double digits with 13 points while veterans Arnold Bautista and Manuel Medina combined for 10.
The Tiger Spikers will try to bounce back against the Far Eastern University Tamaraws on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 10 a.m., at the same venue.