UAAP: Green Spikers drop their second match in Season 86 against the Tamaraws

Despite their collective efforts, the DLSU Green Spikers endured their first loss of the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Volleyball Tournament against the FEU Tamaraws, 18-25, 25-20, 22-25, 17-25, earlier today, February 21, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

Leading the charge for La Salle were fervent spiker Vince Maglinao and Team Captain JM Ronquillo, who dropped 20 and 19 points, respectively. Star outside hitter Noel Kampton also chipped in 14 points to the Green Spikers’ scoring. 

Zhydryx Saavedra led the way for FEU with 20 points in 18 attacks and two blocks in the victory. Martin Bugaoan also took part in advancing the cause for the Green and Gold with 16 points, while Andrei Delicana contributed 13 points.

Big game jitters

Looking to avenge their loss in last season’s stepladder Final Four, the Green Spikers went toe-to-toe with the Tamaraws at the opening set with an early 5-all start. The squad from Morayta, however, showcased their offensive prowess, as their go-to hitters Delicana and Saavedra pushed them to a 10-6 lead. Refusing to allow the deficit to widen, DLSU uncorked a run of their own as an explosive hit from Ronquillo and an illegal attack from FEU knotted up the set at 11-all. 

From then on, the Tamaraws, spearheaded by the towering presence of middle blocker Martin Bugaoan, raced to a 19-15 advantage as the Green Spikers could not shake off their rust. DLSU’s wingers Maglinao and Kampton tried to prevent further bleeding, but the Green-and-Gold continued piling on the pressure. La Salle seemingly had no answer for Bugaoan’s hot start and was forced to use both of their timeouts in the set. With the Tamaraws at set point, Ronquillo’s failed attack capped off DLSU’s rough start and handed FEU the first set, 25-18. 

Different team

After an error-plagued start for the Green Spikers, the team from Taft woke up and played with urgency. It was a tightly contested game at the start of the second set as both teams converted each other’s attack into points. After a service ace from Maglinao, 5-4, La Salle built on this momentum to give themselves some breathing space from FEU. Kampton was assertive in the set; being aggressive on both ends, he scored three points in a row, finished off by a service ace, 14-8.

Errors also plagued the Tamaraws’ play, as the Green Spikers took advantage and successively converted attack points, capped by a one-two play that was capped off by Ronquillo, 15-9. The Green and White played an A game to build the biggest lead from Ronquillo’s down-the-line hit, 20-13. Saavedra was the lone bright spot for the team from Morayta when he scored back-to-back spikes to close the gap, 23-19. In the end, Maglinao took the second set for La Salle with a powerful cross-attack, 25-20. 

Faltering late

The third set of the match was opened by a back-and-forth showdown in the air between Maglinao and Saavedra, which saw FEU hold the advantage, 6-5. This was followed by more nip-and-tuck exchanges, but with Ronquillo taking the lead, the Green Spikers eventually tied the score at 13-all after an attack from the Tamaraws went out of bounds. 

La Salle was poised, keeping the set win within their grasp. However, crucial points from Bugaoan and southpaw Saavedra gave FEU a 17-14 edge, forcing DLSU Head Coach Jose Roque to use a timeout. A service ace from Ronquillo helped the Green Spikers get as close as 21-20, but the substitutions for the Morayta-based team proved to be a difference-maker, as an attack from Vincent Nadera and an emphatic Mendoza block placed the score at 23-20. 

Coming out of a timeout, the Green Spikers notched back-to-back points to get within one, 23-22, which compelled the Green and Gold to take a timeout of their own. With a potential comeback almost at their fingertips, Maglinao tragically committed a service error that gave FEU the set point. Bugaoan went for the kill to end the set and hammered it home for the Tamaraws, 25-22. 

Demoralizing loss

After a painful third-set loss, the Green Spikers could not keep up as they trailed the entire set. Starting slow against the Tamaraws was a weighty challenge to overcome, with Saavedra doubling their lead with a cross-court attack over the blockers, 4-2. La Salle tried to take advantage of a series of errors coming from FEU, but it wasn’t enough to take the lead, 7-5.

The team from Morayta continued to showcase their attacking prowess, with Bugaoan and Saavedra scoring back-to-back spikes, 17-10. Team Captain Ronquillo was checked in the set as the defense of the Tamaraws showed, while the Green Spikers were limited in the attacking department. A set-to-forget for La Salle closed out after Delicana from FEU ended a hard-fought game with an emphatic spike through the blockers, 25-17.

After this four-set loss, the DLSU Green Spikers aim to regroup and redeem their loss as they face the UST Growling Tigers this Sunday, February 25, at 11 am at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. 

The Scores:

DLSU 1 – Maglinao 20, Ronquillo 19, Kampton 14, Anima 7, Del Pilar 4, Adajar 0, De Castro 0, De Jesus 0, De Guzman 0, Gloria 0, Guerrero 0, Poquita III 0

FEU 3 – Saavedra 20, Bugaoan 16, Delicana 13, Javelona 7, Nadera 5, Talisayan 5, Mendoza 4, Cacao 1, Codilla 0, Celajes 0, De Guzman 0, Martinez 0

Set scores: 18-25, 25-20, 22-25, 17-25

Jaden Alberto

By Jaden Alberto

Raphael Serrano

By Raphael Serrano

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