JOSHUA Umandal and Manuel Medina showed the way as University of Sto. Tomas beat College of Saint Benilde, 25-23, 26-24, 25-23, on Sunday for their fourth straight win in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the Arena in San Juan.
The Tiger Spikers overcame 32 errors and the gallant fight of the Blazers to stay undefeated.
Umandal topscored with 16 points off 11 attacks, three blocks and a pair of service aces, while also registering 10 digs, while Medina scattered 12 kills, two aces and a block for 15 hits and also added nine excellent receptions.
Jayvee Sumagaysay and Genesis Redido chipped in eight markers each, while playmaker Timothy Tajanlangit 26 excellent sets on top of five points.
It was a neck-and-neck straight-set win for UST with just a two-point lead in each frame.
The Espana-based Spikers needed to come back from a 22-24 deficit in the second set, scoring four straight points to take the two-set advantage and headed to another close encounter in the third that reached the score of 23-all only for the Blazers to commit two crucial errors.
“Ayaw nila patalo ‘yung set (second) na ‘yon kasi we were behind by two points. Si Timmy (Tajanlangit) sabi ko get three points,” said UST coach Odjie Mamon on Tajanlangit after his tremendous service in the final stretch of the second set.
“Ayon nakuha, ang nag initiate lang is ‘yung serve niya, kargado. So nakakapwesto sila sa block. Good naman at kung hindi pa pumuntos ‘yon papagalitan ko."
“At least ngayon marunong pa sila tumabla at mauna ulit pero sa susunod we keep the lead lalo na sa end game,” Mamon added.
The Tiger Spikers tied earlier winner Adamson Falcons on top of the standings with four wins in a row and they will clash on Saturday at 9 a.m.
Vince Abrot had nine points and 10 digs, while Owen Bacani and Francis Basilan added eight each for the Blazers, who slipped to a 1-2 win-loss record.
St. Benilde tries to bounce back against earlier loser University of Perpetual Help (1-3) on Wednesday at 6 p.m.