Green Spikers fail to strike late-game comeback; get pounced on by UST Tigers!

Published on February 11th, 2017 | by Karl Niccolo Dela Cruz

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After a three-set beatdown last week at the hands of the FEU Tamaraws, the Green Spikers succumb to the UST Growling Tigers in a 5-set showdown, 19-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-18, 12-15, today, February 11 at the San Juan Arena in the continuation of the UAAP 79 men’s volleyball tournament.

The first set saw a heated exchange between the two teams in the earlier frame but UST managed to pull away mid-set through the help of La Salle’s erratic plays and predictable offense. Although DLSU tried to match the España-based squad on top of the net, the Tigers’ combination plays were too much for the Green Spikers to handle eventually giving UST the set lead.

The Taft-based squad managed to catch the early lead of UST in the second set after a balanced offensive variety for the Green and White. Green Spikers Joshua Jose, Cris Dumago and Arjay Onia leapt through different ends of the taraflex to get the momentum going to La Salle, 13-all. An over-the-block attack from UAAP 78 Best Scorer Raymark Woo gave the lead to the Green Spikers which ignited the La Salle offense. Errors marred the Tigers late in the game giving Onia and Dumago the chance to end the set.

UST built an early lead in the third set after Manuel Medina and Jericho Jose’s attacking, 9-16. The Green Spikers tried to match the Black and Gold team’s playing after a 7-2 run led by Woo to give La Salle a chance to steal the set, 16-18. Although the Green Spikers got the momentum on their hands late in the set, a Dumago-hit got blocked followed by an Arnold Bautista attack ended the set for UST.

The Green Spikers and Growling Tigers were neck-and-neck in the beginning of the fourth set until the Taft-based squad pulled away with Dumago and Jose leading the way, 15-11. Woo and Onia exchanged points with UST and their errors until Jose’s quick hit ended the set to force a decider.

Down 3-9, the Green Spikers emerged and cut the lead to 8-9. After Rafael Del Pilar’s hit getting blocked, back-to-back errors tied the game, 10-all. It was a game of who were to crack under pressure first after the tie sequence when Onia and Bautista answered each other with solid hits. An attack from Bautista gave UST match point and Onia was roofed in the last sequence to end a long rally and the match in favour of the UST Tigers.

In hindsight, the Green Spikers were able to improve on their attacking with four Green Shirts getting double digits. Onia topscored for the Taft-based squad with 16 points off of 14 kills, a block and an ace followed by Dumago with 14 markers from 12 kills and 2 blocks. Woo and Jose, on the other hand, combined for 21 points to assist the Green Spikers. UST was led by Jerico Jose who outscored all other spiders with 18 points while Medina scored 17 of his own.

The Green Spikers stand at a 0-2 win-loss card as they face the UP Fighting Maroons next week, February 15, 10am at the same venue.

Karl Niccolo Dela Cruz

magandang buhay!

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