PVL Finals: UP makes history, rules Collegiate Conference
Mark Escarlote on Sep 12, 2018 09:04 PM
University of the Philippines made history, ending a 36-year title drought by ruling the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference.
University of the Philippines wrote history on a rainy Wednesday night.
The championship newbies made the more experienced Far Eastern University crumble under pressure as the Lady Maroons completed a sweet sweep of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference Finals series, 25-20, 25-18, 23-25, 20-25, 15-13 to hoist their first major title in 36 years.
The sea of maroon’s loud celebration drowned the heavy downpour that relentlessly pounded the roof of the FilOil Flying V Centre as history unfolded before their eyes.
The Lady Maroons after squandering a two-set lead flirted with disaster in the fifth, trailing 7-13. But Conference and Finals Most Valuable Player Isa Molde willed her team back with a thrilling 8-0 closing run capped by an ace from Ayel Estranero. The duo scored six of the UP's last eight points in the game.
Molde, also the conference 1st Best Open Spiker, finished with 22 points - all from attacks - while Marist Layug and Marian Buitre scored 12 each. Sophomore Roselyn Rosier finished with 10 for the Lady Maroons, who received 40 points off FEU's miscues. Estranero tallied 28 excellent sets to help UP punch in 52 spikes.
"Once we were 13-13, I expected something to happen because this is volleyball. They (FEU) are more tensed, they were out of timeout just like us. It was the mind strength again, that pushed us through. I think eventually we came out stronger mentally," said UP coach Godrey Okumu.
UP, which took the series opener in a five-set shocker over the UAAP Season 80 runners-up and last year’s second placers, with momentum on their side took the first two sets but encountered tough resistance from the Lady Tams in the third frame.
The Lady Maroons opened with a commanding 8-0 lead but saw FEU slowly dismantle their advantage to tie the set at 14. UP even went four points closer to the title but slowly faded away as the Lady Tams stole the third frame.
FEU again did it in the fourth.
But it proved to be a minor delay with the Lady Maroons date with destiny -- a feat that the Diliman-based squad last carved out in the UAAP back in 1982.
In a battle of nerves that decided the wild finish, it was FEU that blinked first allowing the Lady Maroons to end a long championship drought.
Rookie Lycha Ebon led the Lady Tams with 13 markers, Jerrili Malaban posted 12 points while Jeanette Villareal had 10.
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