Lady Maroons claim second pre-season title
Mark Escarlote on Dec 20, 2018 07:18 PM
University of the Philippines ruled the PSL Collegiate Grand Slam at the expense of University of Sto. Tomas.
University of the Philippines added the inaugural Philippine Superliga Collegiate Grand Slam title to its pre-season collection after taking down University of Sto. Tomas, 25-21, 16-25, 25-23, 25-19, Thursday in the winner-take-all championship at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Lady Maroons erased a 2-8 deficit in the fourth set with a blistering rally before building a 21-15 lead on their way to claiming the crown and more importantly a hefty fund from the league to sponsor their training heading into the UAAP Season 81.
“We were down and it was hard work to pick ourselves up but I’m happy that we were able to pick ourselves up,” said UP coach Godfrey Okumu, whose squad also won the PVL Collegiate Conference title a few months back.
“We fought because that’s out motto of the day, ‘fight’. We fight to the end and it worked. We fought until the end. Even if when we were down, we just kept on reminding ourselves that we have to fight. That’s what we came here to do today,” added Okumu, whose squad dedicated the win to slain benefactor Dominic Sytin of United Auctioneers.
Skipper Tots Carlos, who was named Conference Most Valuable Player, finished with 17 points including 15 off attacks while rookie Nicole Magsarile and Marist Layug got 11 and 10 markers, respectively, for the Lady Maroons, who pounded 55 spikes.
UP got a lucky break in the third set after Eya Laure sent her service short that broke a 23-23 tie. Justine Dorog, who early in the set hurt her right shoulder, swung a crosscourt kill.
Dorog’s hit clinched the frame but went down on the floor clutching her shoulder and crying in pain. She was helped back into UP’s dugout, she returned to the bench but sat out the next set.
After a sluggish start in the fourth, the Lady Maroons were able to overcome an early deficit. With momentum on their side, UP was able to build a 21-15 advantage.
Consecutive errors from Ysa Jimenez and Mafe Galanza put the Lady Maroons at championship point before Layug’s quick attack that sealed the one-hour, 57-minute battle.
Laure had 14 points while Milena Alessandrini had 13 markers for the Tigresses, whose only loss in six outings came in the most important match of the conference.
Meanwhile, Me-Ann Mendrez and Judith Abil conspired on offense as University of the East shocked Far Eastern University with an emphatic 27-25, 25-23, 25-16 win to bag the bronze medal.
Mendrez hammered all but one of her 16 points off attacks while Abil had 12 markers – all from kills - for the Lady Warriors. Skipper Roselle Baliton scored eight for UE, which poured 51 points off attacks.
“Masaya kasi ang mindset namin is tapusin namin ‘yung taon ng maganda for preparation for the next season ng UAAP, ‘yun talaga ‘yung target namin,” said head coach Rod Roque.
Rookie Lycha Ebon was the only Lady Tamaraw in double figure with 10 points.
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