UAAP Volleyball

UST promises to make most of NU finals rematch after historic sweep of No. 1 FEU

JR Isaga

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UST promises to make most of NU finals rematch after historic sweep of No. 1 FEU

SHOOT YOUR SHOT. UST's Josh Ybañez (13) reacts in the UAAP Season 86 men's volleyball Final Four

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

Rising as the first-ever fourth seed to claim a finals berth in UAAP volleyball Final Four history, streaking MVP Josh Ybañez and UST look to take their momentum straight to almighty champion NU in their finals rematch

MANILA, Philippines – For the second straight year, the UST Golden Spikers are back in the UAAP men’s volleyball finals after rolling away with a stunning two-game series sweep of the top-ranked FEU Tamaraws on Wednesday, May 8.

The win marked the first time in the UAAP volleyball Final Four era that a fourth seed defeated a top-ranked team, and now that history is on the Golden Spikers’ side, they are naturally raring for more as they once again tussle with the almighty NU Bulldogs.

“If I could only say that my job is done [but it’s not] because my goal is the finals. But the players, they wanted more, so why not? We can overachieve,” UST head coach Odjie Mamon said in Filipino.

“That’s our motivation in the coming games, let’s claim our goals. Let’s work for it. That’s the only thing I’d remind them, to be motivated and give NU a good fight in the finals.”

Reigning MVP Josh Ybañez, who is likely on track for back-to-back awards, again led the winning charge with 19 points, but had substantial help in the form of Gboy de Vega (18 points) and Sherwin Umandal (16 points).

Back in the finals in just his second year, the skyscraping spiker is hoping last year’s failures have given him enough wisdom to know the right things to do this time around.

“Now, I’m more open for new learnings, new experiences. Before, I used to think I know what to do inside the court and kind of not listen to my coaches,” Ybañez said in Filipino. “Now I’m open to new learnings and I need to listen more to the wisdom of my coaches.”

“We never paid attention to the fact that we’re No. 4 and never thought we had no chance of making the Finals. As long as there’s a spot, even a tiny one, where we can enter the finals, we’d always find a way. We’d always work for it.”

Six-time champion NU would see its title four-peat bid crushed should UST finally finish its story and exorcise the ghosts of seasons past. –

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