The DLSU Green Spikers, with hopes of securing a Final Four berth, lost to the UST Growling Tigers in four sets, 22-25, 20-25, 25-14, 21-25, earlier today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The loss now puts La Salle at sixth place in the tournament and will now have to win at least two of its last three games in the second round of eliminations to clinch a spot in the playoffs.
UST slowly constructed a lead following consecutive attack points coming from Sumagaysay and Bautista. The Growling Tigers maintained their lead throughout the first set despite multiple efforts from Cris Dumago and Arjay Onia to tie the game. UST was always a step quicker than DLSU as shown in the conclusion of the set where Umandal claimed the first set with a strong spike in spite of two La Salle blockers, 25-22.
The second set was nearly identical with the first set in that the start of the set was an intense back-and-forth exchange of points from both teams. With the game tied at nine points each, Carodan prompted a four-point run after notching a point from a quick attack. The remainder of the set was another trading of points from both sides of the court. It was near the end of the set that Onia tried to cut the lead of UST after converting a point from a block. Nonetheless, UST would take the two-set advantage over La Salle following unforced errors from the Green-and-White in addition to Bautista and Umandal’s spikes penetrating the defense of the Green Spikers
After being down two sets to nothing and facing a drop in the standings, DLSU went into a scoring blitz which began with back-to-back attack points from Reyes. The Taft-based squad led by as much as eight points at the early stages of the third set, but the lead was trimmed down to five following two brief scoring rallies by UST as a result of Medina’s efforts in the offensive end. Nevertheless, this was not enough to prevent La Salle from taking the set as Woo made sure that the match would extend by one more set, 25-14.
Even with the Green-and-White having momentum on its side after the amazing performance displayed in the previous set, the team started to cool off and lose focus as it committed several errors from services and attacks at the beginning of the fourth set. These mistakes were eventually used by the Growling Tigers as they managed to build a three-point lead over La Salle behind two consecutive spike kills from Umandal. Woo, Onia, and Maravilla all tried to make a collective effort to cut and take the lead against UST but it was too late as the momentum that the Green Spikers once had in the third set was already taken by the Growling Tigers due to the multiple unforced errors made by the former. UST would come out of the match victorious after two of its defenders bothered Maravilla’s attack attempt which resulted in another error, 25-21.
The Green Spikers will be hoping to return to the win column as they continue their bid to achieve a Final Four spot when they face the UP Fighting Maroons on April 4, Wednesday, 10 am, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.