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Poyos-less UST boosts semis bonus bid

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UAAP XYZA Gula and the UST Tigresses survive the absence of Angge Poyos and a game UP Fighting Maroons squad to book a four-set victory in Season 86 UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.

Games on Saturday:

(Ninoy Aquino Stadium)

10 a.m. — Adamson vs UP (m)

12 p.m. — FEU vs UST (m)

2 p.m. — Adamson vs UP (w)

4 p.m. — FEU vs UST (w)


League-leading University of Santo Tomas proved that it’s not just a one-woman show.

The Golden Tigresses, sans top hitter Angge Poyos, bucked a third set meltdown to repel upset upset-conscious University of the Philippines, 25-14, 25-13, 28-30, 25-15, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

UST found its bearing in the fourth frame with Lefty spikers Jonna Perdido and Regina Jurado leading the way for its 10th win in 11 starts to inch closer to securing a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.

Rookie sensation Poyos, this season’s leading scorer, missed the match after feeling under the weather. First-year middle blocker Em Banagua also missed her second straight game due to a knee injury.

It was Perdido and Jurado who took care of the offense, hammering down 24 points apiece for the Tigresses. Perdido also added eight digs and four excellent receptions.

“We all just stepped up and I just did my responsibility. This win is for Angge and Em, they are our motivation,” Perdido, who matched her career-high in points, said.

Xyza Gula put in 12 markers and nine excellent receptions while Cassie Carballo dished out 19 excellent sets as UST outhit the Fighting Maroons, 68-41.

“I just reminded the team who we dedicate this game, whom we want this win. Luckily, they responded positively,” said Tigresses captain Detdet Pepito, who went 28-of-38 in digs along with 9-of-14 receptions.

After saving five set points, the Golden Tigresses ultimately fell in the third as Steph Bustrillo and Jewel Encarnacion secured the extended set win that forced a fourth frame.

But UST quickly regrouped and took control of the fourth set early to secure the win in two hours and two minutes.

Niña Ytang spearheaded UP’s charge with 14 points, while Bustrillo added 10 but wasn’t enough to save the Fighting Maroons from absorbing a fourth straight loss for a 1-10 win-loss record.

UP played without head coach Oliver Almadro and was handled by assistant coach Jarod Hubalde.

In men’s play, four-peat-seeking National University booked its spot in the Final Four after sweeping Ateneo de Manila University, 25-22, 25-21, 25-19.

The Bulldogs’ ninth win in 11 games also gave standings leader Far Eastern University (9-1) a free ride into the semifinals with only two more seats up for grabs.

Rookie middle blocker Pengn Taguibolos led the balanced NU attack with 12 points on 9-of-13 attacks to go with three blocks while graduating outside spiker Nico Almendras added 10 points and 11 digs.

Obed Mukaba and Leo Aringo each delivered nine points for the Bulldogs, who pushed the Blue Eagles to the brink of elimination with a 5-6 record.

On the other hand, the Golden Spikers firmed up their hold of the No. 4 spot following a dominating, 25-13, 25-22, 25-21, victory over the Fighting Maroons for a 7-4 mark.

Reigning Most Valuable Player and Season 85 Rookie of the Year Josh Ybañez powered UST’s third straight win with 23 points off 21 attacks and two aces, along with 10 excellent receptions and five digs.

Gboy De Vega provided support with 13 points and 11 receptions as the Golden Spikers handed UP its 11th loss in as many games this season and 15th overall since last season.

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