THE UST Tiger Spikers avenged their first-round loss to the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons in a thrilling five-setter, 25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 18-25, 15-11, in the UAAP Season 79 men’s volleyball tournament at the Arena in San Juan Saturday.
Despite a 2-0 set advantage, the Tiger Spikers crumbled in the third and four sets before regaining their composure in the decider.
With the final set tied at 6-all, UST rode on an 8-2 blitz to improve to a 5-6 win-loss record and force a tie with UP at fourth place.
“Nag-deviate sila sa game plan. Hindi na humanap ng target. Nag-adjust lang ako noong fifth set kasi wala na akong mapiga,” UST head coach Odjie Mamon said.
After a come-from-behind win in the first set, the Tiger Spikers broke a 19-all deadlock in the second set behind Manuel Medina, who scored three of the last four points, for a 2-0 set advantage.
The Fighting Maroons, who survived the third set courtesy of UST’s errors, used a 12-4 rally to pull away for good following an 8-all tie.
UST’s Jerico Jose led all scorers with a game-high 22 points while Medina had 15 markers.
John Mark Millete paced the Fighting Maroons with 19 points.
The Tiger Spikers punished UP’s poor floor offensive with eight service aces compared to UP’s one.
UST will face the De La Salle University Green Archers on March 29, Wednesday, 10 a.m., at the same venue.