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Far Eastern University took care of business and opened its second round in the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Volleyball tournament with a three-set victory over the University of the Philippines, 25-21, 25-20, 25-21, on Saturday, Mar. 25, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Setter Benny Martinez set up Mark Calado for the match point at 24-20, before back-to-back errors – one from Martin Bugaoan’s serve and one from Louis Gamban’s attack error – closed the match, putting the Tamaraws at 6-2 in third place and giving them some separation from De La Salle University, which is at 4-3.
“Syempre hindi namin pwedeng i-underestimate yung UP. Ang lakas nila. Nakita naman natin na ready talaga sila,” FEU coach Rey Diaz said of the game. “Na-check talaga yung team. I think magandang simula, pero kailangang mas tumibay pa kami. Kailangang mas magfocus pa kami, kailangan maging mas committed pa kami.”
Martinez finished with 17 excellent sets but also added three points to the FEU tally on two attacks and the team’s lone service ace of the match.
Calado paced the offense with 12 points, all coming from attacks, while Dryx Saavedra and Bugaoan added eight and seven markers, respectively.
The Tamaraws had to climb back in the first set after going down 2-5, capitalizing on the Fighting Maroons’ errors on the defensive end.
The second set was a far better frame as Martinez found Mark Calado and Bugaoan clicking on offense before fending off Kayeng Santiago and UP for the 2-0 advantage.
No Fighting Maroon ended in double figures as captain Louis Gamban with nine on eight spikes and the squad’s only ace. Ruskin Ijiran was solid at the net with seven points on five kills and two blocks.
The Tamaraws will take on the Green Spikers next on Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, while the Fighting Maroons battle defending champions National University Bulldogs on Saturday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
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