May 29, 2024

UAAP: MVP Josh Ybañez takes pride in UST’s historic run despite silver finish

UAAP: MVP Josh Ybañez takes pride in UST’s historic run despite silver finish
Josh Ybañez gave his heart out for UST in UAAP Season 86. | Photo (c) RM Chua/One Sports

After falling short of clinching the title in the UAAP Season 86 Finals on Wednesday, Josh Ybañez took a moment to absorb the sting of defeat before lifting his voice in the hymn of UST.

Despite the visible pain, his expression carried a glimmer of hope for the future.

The Golden Spikers, after all, may have settled for silver to the NU Bulldogs anew, but the experience along the way outweighs the disappointment of the final result.


[ALSO READ: UAAP: NU Bulldogs complete rare 4-peat after closing out UST in Game 2]

“Saludo po ako sa team kasi nga po sobrang ang hirap ng dinanas namin during elimination round hanggang semis, and, ayun po, parang sabi ko nga kanina, andito kami kanina para sa maglaro sa finals,” Ybañez, the newly-minted two-time league MVP, said.

“Sobrang proud lang kami sa sarili namin.”

Entering the semifinals as the fourth seed after a rollercoaster campaign in the preliminaries, UST faced a daunting challenge against top-ranked FEU, which had a twice-to-beat advantage. 

Demonstrating remarkable resilience and determination, Ybañez and his teammates overcame this hurdle, making history as the only number four seed to advance to the Finals.

The team truly defied the odds and exceeded expectations.


[ALSO READ: UAAP: UST star Josh Ybañez repeats as MVP to lead Season 86 award winners]

While the championship eluded the Golden Spikers, their journey to the podium stands as a testament to their hard work, unity, and fighting spirit, much to the delight of head coach Odjie Mamon.

“Heading into the Finals, sabi ko nga sa inyo ano na ko eh, mission accomplished. Pero pinush ko parin yung team to aspire for a higher finish. Kinapos lang kami. Very happy that we reached the Finals,” Mamon said.

“So, for me, it’s a win. Very happy for this season.”