MANILA, Philippines — Dryx Saavedra made quite an impression in his rookie debut for Far Eastern University as he showed the way in their 25-22, 25-23, 25-15 victory over University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Saavedra, a rookie out of FEU Diliman, unleashed 15 points off 14 attacks and one block to pick from where they left off three years ago when the Tamaraws’ 2-0 campaign was cut short by the pandemic in the 2020 season.
FEU coach Rei Diaz said he was proud of Saavedra for making an immediate impact on their team, which joined opening day winners National University and University of the East.
“His actions and numbers introduced who Dryx Saavedra is. I’m proud of him. I think his parents are so happy today. I hope will continue this kind of play. He just needs to stay focused on his goal and the team,” Diaz said in Filipino.
Saavedra admitted he had a jittery start in his first game at MOA Arena but he just stuck to the team’s system, which led to his impressive debut.
“At first I felt nervous because this is my first time playing at a big arena. I just did my part and applied our system. I got the player of the game honor because of my teammates. We played as one,” he said in Filipino.
Martin Bugaoan, the brother of Cignal HD Spiker JP, chipped in eight kills and three blocks to finish with 11 points on top of six digs, while Mark Calado had 10 markers.
FEU was pushed to the limits by UP in the first two sets, especially in the second as the latter tied it at 23-all. But JJ Javelona broke the deadlock with a crosscourt kill before Calado nailed a big block on Louis Gamban’s attack with the ball going straight to the face of the attacker to take a two-set lead.
The Tamaraws, who also drew eight points from Jefferson Abuniawan off four service aces, dominated the Maroons in the third set to book their first win.
Angelo Lagando was the lone bright spot for UP with 17 points, as Gamban was limited to seven markers.
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