Far Eastern University fended off Adamson University’s challenge to hammer out a 31-33, 25-17, 25-17, 25-23 victory and rediscover its winning ways in the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Volleyball tournament, Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Trailing 15-18 in the fourth set, Mark Calado and Martin Bugaoan leveled the frame at 18-all.
Despite the fightback from the Soaring Falcons with captain Jude Aguilar, Bugaoan eventually ended the battle with a smart push to the empty Adamson backrow.
“I think this is a good response. We struggled pero good response, kasi mahirap sa isang bagong team yung pagtayo pagkatapos ng pagkadapa,” coach Rei Diaz said of FEU’s bounce-back win after losing a five-setter to University of Santo Tomas Wednesday.
“Step by step, at least yung isang step nagawa na namin,” he added.
Setter Benny Martinez was steady for FEU after producing 25 excellent sets, leading to a huge 72-41 advantage on attacks.
Calado once more paced the scoring for the Tamaraws with 24 points, 20 coming from attacks to go along with three blocks and one service ace. The former FEU-Diliman standout also added 10 digs and 17 excellent receptions.
Bugaoan added 18 markers on 16 spikes and two blocks.
The Tamaraws, though, needed to shake off another sluggish start to the match.
Adamson had to crawl its way into its first set win of the season, coming back from 15-19 down to take the extended first set at 33-31 with Francis Casas finally ending the frame with a down-the-line kill after 42 minutes.
It was all the Falcons could manage as the Tamaraws turned the match in their favor.
Calado then took charge for FEU as the UAAP Season 81 runners-up ran roughshod of the Soaring Falcons in the next two sets. Jay Javelona and Dryx Saavedra ably helped their senior, making amends for their errors late in that first-set defeat.
Setter-spiker Aguilar ultimately finished with 12 points for AdU with nine spikes and three blocks, while Joshua Mangalaman led the squad with 15 markers on 13 attacks and two blocks.