Lady Maroons shock Falcons, near PVL finals
MANILA, Philippines – University of the Philippines fought back from six down midway in the fourth and shut down top seed Adamson in the stretch to hack out a stunning 24-26, 25-19, 25-22, 25-20 victory and zero in on the first finals berth in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center on Wedenesday, August 30.
Marian Buitre presided over the Lady Maroons’ stirring fightback from 12-18 down in the fourth with torrid spiking that netted them 9 unanswered points. The veteran hitter then sealed a closing 4-1 binge with an off-the-block kill to finish off the Lady Falcons.
“Buitre did a good job and the other players were just as composed,” said UP coach Godfrey Okumu after his wards stopped the Lady Falcons’ run.
Adamson had completed an elimination sweep that gained them the top seeding in the best-of-three semis.
University of Santo Tomas , meanwhile, rallied from a lopsided opening set defeat and battled back from huge deficits in the second frame to annex a 16-25, 26-24, 25-18, 25-23 victory over Far Eastern U and likewise gain the edge in their side of the semis duel.
The Lady Tams actually racked up four straight points to threaten at 23-24 in the fourth set but veteran Heather Anne Guino-o slammed her third serve into the net, spoiling their rally and enabling the Tigresses to clinch the set and the match.
UP and UST go for the clincher on Saturday, September 1.
Buitre delivered 23 kills in a 25-point outing while Marist Layug, Roselyn Rosier and Aie Gannaban combined for 35 markers for the Lady Maroons, who needed to topple the San Beda Lady Red Spikers to snare the fourth and last semis seat in the mid-season conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.
The Lady Falcons, so impressive in the elims, struggled against the Lady Maroons' gutsy stand right in the opening frame, blowing a couple of set points before clinching the win.
But the Diliman-based spikers rode the momentum of their late first set charge, took the next two sets, then foiled the Lady Falcons’ bid to force a decider with that fiery comeback that spoke well of the character of the team.
Bernadette Flora scored 20 hits while Eli Soyud and Le-Anne Perez added 16 and 11 points, respectively, for the Lady Falcons, who vowed to strike back in Game Two and force a decider.
In men’s play, Far Eastern U whipped St. Benilde, 25-19, 25-20, 25-10, in a playoff to arrange a semis duel with top seed National U.
Paul Bugaoan unloaded 15 points, including 11 kills and four kill blocks, while Peter Quiel added 11 markers and Raymond Bautista and Mark Calado combined for 12 hits for the Tams, who thus got back at the elims round tormentors to stay in the title hunt.
The men’s Final Four begins Saturday with UST and Adamson U clash in the other pairing – Rappler.com