University of Santo Tomas (UST) Junior Tiger Spikers survived the National University (NU) Bullpups, 25-22, 11-25, 21-25, 25-15, 15-13, forcing a rubber match in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) boys’ volleyball tournament at the Adamson University Gymnasium in San Marcelino, Manila on Sunday.
Tied at 13-all in the deciding set, the Junior Tiger Spikers did not look back and broke away from the Bullpups with Lorenz Señoron scoring from a check ball, 14-13. Señoron sustained his momentum as he sent another spike that the Bullpups failed to return, clinching the victory for UST, 15-13.
In the fourth set, the gold-and-white squad ignited a 3-0 run from the attacks of Señoron, Jaron Requinton, and Rey De Vega, snatching the lead from the Bullpups, 13-10.
John Raphael Sumalinog committed an error for NU as he sent the ball to the net, 14-10.
The Junior Tiger Spikers extended their advantage to 11 with Julian Miguel Solis scoring from his service ace, 23-12.
Efraem Dimaculangan closed the fourth set for UST with his attack, 25-15, to tie the sets at 2-all.
“I gathered them before they went to the court and told them this is a must win set, this is a do-or-die set and I also told them to relax because we should not be pressured. We are the challengers and they are the champions so it is them who should show off their skills. So our players really relaxed. Their utility showed in the fourth and fifth set,” said UST assistant head coach Rommel Abella.
UST handed the third set to the Bullpups after committing an overreaching and a net touch violation, 25-21.
The Bullpups and the Junior Tiger Spikers will once again clash on Wednesday at the same venue.