Tiger Spikers force decider in PVL semis

Photo by Vladlynn Nona Maryse L. Tadeo

THE UST Tiger Spikers upset the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, 25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-21, to force a decider in the 1st Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference semifinals at the Arena in San Juan Saturday.

Ateneo played without top player Marck Espejo and team captain Karl Baysa due to their UAAP beach volleyball games.

The Tiger Spikers opened the fourth set with a 9-5 run to establish a 16-11 lead. Ateneo tried to come back but UST’s Manuel Medina fired an off-the-block kill to hand Ateneo its first loss of the tournament, 25-21.

The Eagles trailed midway in the third period before uncorking an 11-5 blitz topped by an off-the-block from Jino Labao to avoid a sweep, 25-22.

“Nawalan sila ng attackers sa gilid. So basically, humina efficiency ‘nung Ateneo [kaya] na-exploit namin,” UST head coach Odjie Mamon said.

Ateneo pulled to within one, 23-22, late in the second frame, but Tim Tajanlangit’s block denied an equalizer and gave the Tiger Spikers a commanding 2-0 set lead.

With the opening set tied at 22-all, Tiger Spiker Jayvee Sumagaysay’s quick hit ended a three-point spurt to give UST an early set advantage.

The Tiger Spikers capitalized on Ateneo’s 32 errors while peppering 57 attack points.

Joshua Umandal exploded with a season-high 23 points while Medina added 16 markers for UST.

Ishmael Rivera led Ateneo with 15 points.

The do-or-die match will be at the same venue with the date yet to be determined. I.R.L. Suing