MANILA, Philippines – The University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons exacted revenge on the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses in the gold medal match of the 2018 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Collegiate Grand Slam in 4 sets, 25-21, 16-25, 25-23, 25-19, on Thursday, December 20, at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Arianne Layug's drop brought UP to the championship point, and followed with another spike down the middle to seal the title for the Lady Maroons.
The Lady Maroons picked up their lone loss against UST in the preliminary round of the tourney where they were swept in straight sets.
Tots Carlos topscored for 17 points off 15 spikes followed by Nicole Magsarile's 11 points. Mary Mirgie Bautista defended the floor with 19 excellent digs and 9 excellent receptions while Ayel Estranero tossed 17 excellent sets.
This is UP's second preseason championship after they captured a historic Premier Volleyball League title last September.
"I believe since two or 3 years ago, this team was a champion team, and it was just a matter of time. But as I said before, big pressure. UAAP is another game altogether," said UP head coach Godfrey Okumu.
In the 4th and last set, the Lady Maroons were trailing 0-4, but managed to rally back capped off by Nicole Magsarile's efforts from the service line.
But the game was plagued with injuries as UP's Justine Dorog dislocated her shoulder after scoring the set point in the 3rd set, while UST's Christine Francisco hurt her left patella that saw her grimace in pain.
UST rookie Eya Laure led the team with 14 points off 12 spikes while Milena Alessandrini chipped in 13 points off 9 attacks, 3 aces and 1 block. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.