UAAP Season 81: Buitre powers Lady Maroons back on winning track

Mark Escarlote on Apr 03, 2019 04:43 PM
Buitre powers Lady Maroons back on winning track
Marian Buitre led University of the Philippines to a five-set win over University of the East.

Veteran Marian Buitre waxed-hot as she led the Isa Molde-less University of the Philippines to a thrilling 25-23, 20-25, 25-23, 24-26, 15-11, win over University of the East on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The graduating wing spiker, who averaged 1.9 points per game heading into the match, registered a personal season-best 19 points off 16 attacks and three kill blocks to help the Lady Maroons get back on the winning track for a 6-4 win-loss record tied with University of Sto. Tomas.

Buitre, who added 17 digs, filled in for the role left by Molde, who sprained her left ankle in the second set of the Diliman-based squad’s straight sets loss to league-leading Ateneo de Manila University last Saturday. The Lady Maroons won their third of four five-set matches in the season including a repeat of their victory over UE in the first round.  

Tots Carlos had 16 points highlighted by 13 attacks while adding 24 digs and 24 excellent receptions, while Marist Layug got 15 markers for the Lady Maroons, who sruvived the match despite throwing away 36 points off errors.  Ayel Estranero tallied 34 excellent sets that helped UP smash 63 spike points.

"The game today it was hard, it wasn't easy. As I said before nothing comes easy for us but we just have to work hard for every single point. Again, a win is a win. I'm happy with the win," said Lady Maroons coach Godfrey Okumu.      

UP broke free from a tight 10-9 fifth set with four straight points capped by kill block of Carlos on Mean Mendrez. The Lady Warriors saved two match points before Roselle Baliton was called for a net touch.     

UP came back from a 20-22 deficit in the fourth frame and forced a deuce at 24 after Zilfa Olarve sent her service long. Aie Gannaban squandered the Lady Maroons’ chance of taking a match point advantage after overcooking her serve before Mean Mendrez stole the set with an off the block kill to force a decider.  

The Lady Maroons crawled its way back from a 20-23 deficit in the first set with a huge 5-0 fightback capped by a Tots Carlos crosscourt hit.

The Lady Warriors built an early lead in the second frame only to see UP make a huge run to take a 12-9. UE caught up with the Lady Maroons, 19-19, off Judith Abil’s off the block hit.

Back-to-back errors from the Lady Maroons sparked UE’s closing 5-0 blast that broke a 20-20 deadlock as the Lady Warriors tied the match at one set apiece.

UP controlled the third frame and kept UE at bay to take the third fame and 2-1 match lead.    

The Lady Warriors dropped to 2-8 mark and lost another five-setter for the fourth time.

Menrez had 23 points with 20 coming off attacks while Judith Abil got 22 markers, 29 digs and 19 excellent receptions for UE. Baliton had 10 points, setter Lai Bendong tallied 39 excellent sets while graduating libero Kath Arado posted 35 digs and 31 excellent receptions.  



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