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Golden Spikers earn top V-L spot

Ennius Gwen Colinares and Sherwin Umandal celebrate University of Santo Tomas’ 25-19, 25-17, 25-23 win over San Beda University in the V-League Men’s Collegiate Challenge yesterday at the Paco Arena. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF V-League

University of Santo Tomas rolled past San Beda University, 25-19, 25-17, 25-23, to stretch its win run to six and clinch the top spot in the V-League Men’s Collegiate Challenge elimination round at the Paco Arena in Manila yesterday.

The Golden Spikers came away with back-to-back points on a GBoy De Vega kill and a Trevor Valera block to shatter a 23-all count in the third and complete the straight-set victory.

Despite the win, UST coach Odjie Mamon rued this wards’ performance.

“The players aren’t in control so they are not really focused. So, they are just playing. It was my fault I allowed them to. It defeats the purpose of adding players to the core.”

UAAP reigning MVP Josh Ybañez put up an 18-point performance that featured 17 attacks and finished with an ace.

De Vega and Rainier Flor added eight points each, but it was Gwen Colinares, who stepped up for the Dux Yambao, who suffered an ankle sprain in the first set.

No Red Spiker finished in double digits with middle blocker Andrei Bakil ending up with nine points even as Kevin Montemayor was limited to three points.

De La Salle University later clinched a semifinal berth with a sweep of University of Perpetual Help System DALTA, 25-20, 25-19, 25-19, in the other men’s encounter.

The Green Spikers moved to third place with a 4-2 (win-loss) record, towing Far Eastern University to the next round.

With Perpetual keeping the match close in the third, De La Salle unleashed a closing run capped by a Yoyong Mendoza cross-court kill.

In women’s play, College of Saint Benilde secured the second spot in the semifinals of the 2023 V-League Collegiate Challenge after taking down NCAA rival University of Perpetual Help System DALTA in straight sets, 25-18, 26-24, 25-16.

With a 5-1 win-loss record and still a game-at-hand against Enderun Colleges, the Lady Blazers is set to face University of the East in the Final Four. The Lady Altas, on the other hand, will face Far Eastern University.

CSB had to climb back from a huge 10-17 hole in the second set with Jade Gentapa taking over in order to get the win, something head coach Jerry Yee addressed.


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