The University of the East pulled off a stunning 19-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 15-10 reversal of suddenly-struggling Far Eastern University to end a six-game slide in the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament at the SMART Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, Apr. 2.
The Red Warriors were able to pull away midway through the fourth set as Joshua Pozas stepped up for JP Mangahis, who was helped to the bench after a bad fall, en route to the 25-20 tally to force a deciding frame.
With UE ahead 12-10 in the fifth, Kenneth Culabat scored off a broken play before Tamaraw Mark Calado’s back row attack went wide. JM Andaya then ended the two-hour 41-minute match with a service ace.
“Pinaghirapan naman talaga, ang tagal namin hinihintay itong panalo na ito. Ilang laro na rin na puro sama ng loob eh so ito magandang morale booster sa amin,” said UE head coach Jerome Guhit.
The Red Warriors improved to 3-7 while handing the Tamaraws their fourth loss in 10 games.
FEU is only half a game ahead of joint-fourth Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University with identical 5-4 cards.
Balanced was UE’s attack with Andaya leading the way with 17 points on 14 attacks, two aces, and a block, while the other middle blocker Giles Torres added 14 points.
Culabat and Mangahis delivered 13 points apiece as they did well on the reception area with 19 and 12, respectively.
Calado netted a game-high 23 points for the Tamaraws while Dryx Saavedra and Martin Bugaoan chimed in 14 and 11 points, respectively.
UE will look to go back-to-back on April 15 against 1-8 Adamson University while FEU meets undefeated National University the next day, both at Philsports Arena.