Rookie Delicana weathers UST to remain undefeated

FEU Advocate
March 03, 2024 09:06

Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraw Andrei Delicana delivered a clutch performance to stay undefeated as they fended the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Spikers off, 28-26, 21-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-12, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament earlier today, March 3, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The green-and-gold spiker recorded 16 attacks and two blocks, earning him the Player of the Game title.

In a post-game interview, Delicana expressed how it feels to perform well against UST despite being a rookie.

"Nanibago po ako kasi first time ko po rito and sobrang saya ko po na natalo namin 'yung UST (It was a surreal experience because it’s my first season and I’m very happy that we beat UST)," he said.

It was a seesaw affair between the university rivals since the first set, causing multiple deuces to take place.

Fortunately, the Morayta-based squad's cleaner play pushed them over the edge as they only recorded six errors to the España-based squad's 10, with Delicana's attack earning set point.

However, in the next two sets, the Tamaraws failed to weather the storm of Golden Spiker Josh Ybañez's attacks, forcing them to go down, 1-2. 

In the fourth set, Delicana led the Tams to push for a fifth set clincher, scoring five markers in key moments to maintain the lead throughout.

The green-and-gold squad showcased their firepower in the final set as multiple players scored double digits in their shared offense.

Near the end, Delicana clutched up with an attack from the backline to get to the brink of match point. 

Dryx Saavedra followed with a hit of his own, sealing the victory for the Morayta-based squad.

The rookie also mentioned how he felt within the intensity of the match.

"Kinakabahan po ako nu’ng una tapos nung huli na po, kinalmahan ko na po. Focus lang po sa laro (I was nervous at first but then in the end, I calmed down. I just focused on the game)," he added.

Other contributors for the close win were JayJay Javelona with 18 points, Martin Bugaoan with 16, and Saavedra with 13.

The Tamaraws increase their undefeated win-loss record to 4-0 and will attempt to maintain it against National University (NU) on Wednesday, March 6, at the same venue.

-Vince Matthew Jaramilla

(Photo by Raph Bautista/FEU Advocate)