Lady Maroons strengthens semis spot bid
Mark Escarlote on Mar 20, 2016 03:34 PM
University of the Philippines solidifies bid for a Final Four seat.
University of the East gave University of the Philippines a scare in the opening set before the Lady Maroons recovered from a shaky start to turn back the Lady Warriors, 25-23, 25-22, 25-14, to remain on the right track in the Final Four spot race of the 78th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
The Lady Maroons corralled their seventh win in 11 games Sunday to keep a tight hold of the third spot and a win away for playoff for a semifinals berth.
Defending two-time champion Ateneo de Manila (9-2) occupied the first Final Four spot.
Once again the young guns showed the way for UP behind rookies Isa Molde, Justine Dorog and Diana Carlos and sophomore Marian Buitre's superb performances.
Molde scored all her 12 points from attacks while Buitre had eight spikes and four kill blocks for a total of 12 markers for the Diliman-based volleybelles. Dorog and Carlos had six points.
Despite their straight sets win, UP head coach Jerry Yee was far from satisfied.
"Pangit pa rin eh. We're trying to pratice some things, parang nahihirapan pa. So patience na lang talaga ang kailangan pero hindi na ako nag-ingay doon (sa loob ng court)," said Yee, who opted to sit veterans Kathy Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon after the opening frame to field his bench. "Very bad start."
"We were looking for a few things of improvement. Hindi lang namin ma-deliver as of now. So siguro meron pa kaming buong Holy Week to practice," added Yee.
The Lady Warriors showed grit in the first set, leading by three in the early going. UE lost Celine Domingo, who returned to the game in the third set, while holding a two-point advantage when the hitter landed awkwardly spraining her right ankle in the process.
UP rallied to take a 23-21 lead before the Lady Warriors tied it at 23. The Lady Maroons took the last two points capped by a UE attack error.
It was all UP in the next two frames to bury the Lady Warriors deeper down the cellar with a 0-11 record and 56 straight losses overall since Season 74.
Shaya Adorador finished with 13 points, Mary Anne Mendrez had eight while Judith Abil posted six markers for UE.
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