Home Sports Josh Ybañez leads UST rally past NU in UAAP men’s volleyball

Josh Ybañez leads UST rally past NU in UAAP men’s volleyball

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Josh Ybanez UST beats NU UAAP Season 86

Josh Ybañez celebrates after leading UST’s rally past NU in the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament.–UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Reigning MVP Josh Ybañez unleashed a career-high 34 points as University of Santo Tomas continued to assert its mastery over defending champion National University with a come-from-behind 28-30, 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-9 win in the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

In his past three 30-point games, UST lost. This time, Ybañez made sure the Golden Spikers would complete their comeback from a two-set deficit, firing 31-of-62 spikes, two blocks, and an ace on top of 25 excellent receptions.

“Masaya po ako kasi habang naglalaro syempre hindi ko kita yung score ko so as long as kaya kong magcontribute sa team sa kahit anong pamamaraan gagawin ko. Sobrang happy ako kasi I know it’s a collaborative effort hindi lang ako,” said Ybañez, who won the Season 85 MVP and Rookie of the Year.

SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 volleyball second round

Sherwin Umandal also stepped up for the Golden Spikers with 15 points. GBoy De Vega had 11 points and 14 receptions, while Dux Yambao dished out 26 excellent sets on top to end the seven-game winning streak of NU and improve to a 5-4 record tied with Ateneo at No.4.

UST also ended the defending champion’s 34-game winning streak with a 25-23, 26-24, 25-19 win in the opening week last month.

“Hindi ko magagawa ang lahat kapag wala ang teammates ko at wala ang coaches. Thankful ako sa coaches na grabe yung trust na binibigay nila sa akin na ako ang magdrive sa team namin,” said Yambao.

NU slid to second place with a 7-2 record. Jade Disquitado unloaded 20 points for the Bulldogs. Leo Aringo chipped in 19 points, while Nico Almendras and Obed Mukaba added 13 and 12, respectively.

Meanwhile, Ken Batas erupted with 30 points to lift Ateneo past the winless but gritty University of the Philippines in five sets, 25-15, 18-25, 25-15, 20-25, 15-10.

Batas, who dropped 27 kills, two blocks, and an ace on top of nine digs, conspired with Jian Salarzon to restore the order for the Blue Eagles in the fifth set to rise to the fourth place with a 5-4 record, winning back-to-back games before the Holy Week break.

Salarzon scattered 15 kills, four blocks, and an ace to finish with 20 points, while Amil Pacinio chipped in 16 points and 27 excellent receptions with King Mangulabnan tossing 26 excellent sets.



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“I reminded them of our goal this year because last season we lost to UP [in a crucial second-round match]. I told them we have to acknowledge that it could happen but are we going to allow it?” said Ateneo coach Timmy Sto. Tomas in Filipino, referring to their five-set loss to UP in Season 85, which cost their Final Four contention.

UP remained winless in eight games with Jaivee Malabanan making the most of his first start with 19 points, 25 receptions, and six digs, while Louis Gamban and Jessie Rubin added 17 and 14 points, respectively.





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