PVL: Finals stint a ‘good sign’ for UP’s future
Mark Escarlote on Sep 06, 2018 03:52 PM
It’s a good sign for great things to come for the coming (UAAP) season -- UP coach Godfrey Okumu
University of the Philippines head coach Godfrey Okumu sees great things to come for the Lady Maroons following their breakthrough Finals appearance in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference.
Despite playing without top hitter and court leader Tots Carlos, a shaky start and losing top rookie Nicole Magsarile to an injury, the Lady Maroons managed to claw their way into the best-of-three championship series to face Far Eastern University.
Okumu’s system and hard work to whip UP into a legitimate contender almost a year after his appointment as replacement for Jerry Yee is now paying dividends.
For the Kenyan mentor, this championship stint and the experience they will earn will mean a lot for the squad as they prepare for the big stage of UAAP Season 81.
“It’s a good sign for great things to come for the coming (UAAP) season,” said Okumu.
The Lady Maroons’ best finish in a major tournament was in 2016 when they finished third in the defunct V-League Collegiate Conference. In the UAAP, UP landed fourth in Season 78 – the school’s best finish in 19 years since ending at third place in Season 60.
“I’m happy for them and I would say that this good for UP and the fans,” added Okumu. “I think they have waited long for this for many years.”
UP advanced in the Finals after defeating Adamson University in the best-of-three semifinals.
The series saw the likes of veterans Isa Molde and Marian Buite stepping up on offense together with sophomore Roselyn Rosier, rookie playmaker Marianne Sotomil showing her vast potential and veteran setter Ayel Estranero acting as glue to keep the troops together at crunch time.
Now with the title within its grasp, UP is going all out to capture its first major title since winning the 1982 UAAP crown.
“I believe we will continue moving on until we get to where we want to go, to our target,” said Okumu.
Game 1 of the championship series is on Sunday and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream.
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