PVL: Lady Maroons draw closer to championship round
Mark Escarlote on Aug 29, 2018 04:29 PM
University of the Philippines drew first blood against erstwhile Adamson University in the best-of-three semifinals series.
University of the Philippines made Adamson University feel the sting of its first loss in the tournament.
Marian Buitre engineered the Lady Maroons’ fightback from six points down midway in the fourth set to help UP close Game 1 of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference best-of-three Final Four, 24-26, 25-19, 25-22, 25-20, Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Lady Maroons chipped away a 12-18 deficit in the fourth set behind Buitre’s torrid spiking to take a 21-18 advantage. Eli Soyud was able to stop the Lady Falcons’ bleeding but Buitre sparked the closing 4-1 barrage which she sealed with an off the block kill.
"I think the players got composed and you can see the way Buitre, from there, I think Buitre did a very good job," said UP coach Godfrey Okumu, whose wards exacted revenge on their four-set elims loss to Adamson and registered their first back-to-back wins this conference.
Game 2 is on Saturday.
Buitre finished with 25 points with 23 coming off attacks including eight of UP's last 13 points in the fourth frame. Marist Layug posted 14 markers while Roselyn Rosier had 11 points while Aie Gannaban scored 10.
Isa Molde took the back seat on offense, logging nine points but was active on floor defense with 17 digs while rookie setter Marianne Sotomil tallied 29 excellent sets in the Lady Maroons' 55 attack points.
The Lady Falcons, which swept the seven-game elims, got into trouble with UP's relentless comeback as early as the opening set with Adamson squandering a couple of set points before sealing the first frame. The Lady Maroons, using their late first set momentum, turned the tables around in the next two frames to take the driver's seat.
Adamson threatened to take the match into a decider, taking an 18-12 lead before Buitre took over for UP.
Bernadette Flora scored 20 points while Eli Soyud and Le-Anne Perez got 16 and 11 markers, respectively, for the Lady Falcons.
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