UP eyes rebound win, Iriga fights for survival
Mark Escarlote on Jun 20, 2016 03:09 AM
University of the Philippines faces a desperate Iriga squad.
University of the Philippines aims to keep its semifinals bid alive when the Lady Maroons cross paths with the desperate Iriga Lady Oragons on Monday in a crucial match in the 13th V-League Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
Coming off a tough five-set loss to BaliPure the last time out, UP wants to get back on the winning track in the 4:00 p.m. match that will air live over ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23, ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD Channel 166 and via livestream on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/vleague.
The Lady Maroons are currently at sixth spot with a 1-3 win-loss record and are still in the thick of the battle for the last three semis seats after the unbeaten Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors secured the first spot in the next round.
UP failed to capitalize on a 2-1 match lead last week as the Diliman-based squad allowed the Purest Water Defenders to escape with a come-from-behind 25-20, 22-25, 25-15, 17-25, 12-15, win.
Despite losing the battle, the Lady Maroons gained confidence with Isa Molde and Kathy Bersola getting double-figure productions. The UAAP Season 78 Rookie of the Year Molde scored 22 points while Bersola had 19 markers highlighted by eight kill blocks.
But getting back in the win column will need a lot of effort from UP as Iriga is playing to keep its flickering semis hopes alive.
The Lady Oragons can’t afford to lose another game or they will be sent packing for an early vacation to follow the also-ran Baguio Summer Spikers.
Iriga is a game behind UP with 1-4 slate and are on a three-game losing streak. They last bowed down to Pocari Sweat two days ago, 16-25, 18-25, 26-24, 20-25, despite Shola Alvarez’s 15-point output and Grazielle Bombita’s 14 markers.
The Bicolanas need to sweep their remaining two games including their last elims joust against Philippine Air Force and wish that no other team reaches a fourth win to force a playoff for the last semis seat.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles