UST rookie Josh Ybanez in the UAAP men

UST rookie Josh Ybanez in the UAAP men's volleyball tournament. –UAAP PHOTO

UST rookie Josh Ybanez in the UAAP men’s volleyball tournament. –UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Josh Ybanez made waves in his rookie debut, unleashing a season-high 24 points to lift University of Santo Tomas past La Salle, 25-22, 23-25. 25-22, 25-19, in the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Ybanez poured in 21 kills to go with 10 excellent receptions as the under-the-radar freshman helped the Golden Spikers, who committed 36 errors, prevail over the Green Spikers in a two-hour match.

UST coach Odjie Mamon lauded Ybanez for being a man among boys.

“Small but terrible. He has a big heart. He will fight on. Even if he commits errors, I  still trust him because he is brave,” said Mamon on the 5-foot-7 spiker. 

Ybanez was honored to hear those words from the Philippine men’s volleyball team coach. But it won’t stop him from striving to be a better player.

“My heart is flattered to hear those words from coach Odjie. It helps me boost my confidence so I can keep on working harder in training and our next games to bring out my maximum potential,” he said in Filipino.

Rey De Vega also stepped up with 19 points including three aces as UST joined defending champion National University, University of the East, and Far Eastern University on top of the standings.

Jay De la Noche, fresh from the Philippine men’s volleyball team’s training camp in Taiwan with coach Odjie Mamon, was also instrumental with 15 points.

La Salle banked on John Mark Ronquillo, who scored 18 points, as Noel Kampton, one of the highly-recruited players, scored 11 points in a losing UAAP indoor debut.

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