Rookie-laden Lady Maroons stave off listless Lady Brahmans

MANILA, Philippines — The rookies from the University of the Philippines stepped up big after a sluggish start and spearheaded a 24-26, 25-19, 25-19, 25-20 victory over University of Batangas in the Shakey's V-League 12 Collegiate Conference on Sunday, July 26 at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan. 

First year hitter Maria Lina Molde unleashed 21 points she earned from 19 kills and two aces as the Lady Maroons, whose first 6 is spliced with 4 rookies, picked up its second win in a row for a 2-1 slate in Group A. 

Another rookie Justine Dorog slammed home an open spike to seal the win and finish with 18 markers all off attacks. While fellow first year Diana Mae Carlos added 17 points to fend off the reigning NCAA South champions. 

"Ma-depensa sila. Makulit, mahirap patayan ng bola (They're very defensive. They're energetic and it's difficult to score off a kill on them)," remarked head coach Jerry Yee, who intends to use this conference as a means of conditioning and training his young players. 

"Kulang sa maturity compared sa kalaban namin kanina. Medyo loaded lang kami ng kaunting kaunti sa talent, probably. Malaki and mataas siguro kami tumalon kaya nakalamang kami."

(We lack maturity compared to our opponent. We just happen to be a little more loaded with talent, probably. Perhals we're taller and we jump higher so we had the edge.)

The lack of maturity against a veteran champion team was glaring in the first set, when the Lady Maroons blew a 23-17 lead and piled up on errors to allow the Lady Brahmans a costly 7-0 rally. 

The Diliman-based squad scored just one more point after that as UB won its first set of the conference, 26-24.

"Typical of a very young team," Yee explained the meltdown. "Yung attention span maikli, hindi maka-focus (They have short attention span, they can't focus) until we finish the game. They have to learn." 

UP, despite committing 37 errors, bounced back beautifully after that and cracked open UB's floor defense to win the next 3 sets comfortably.

Marian Buitre chipped in 10 markers while the fourth rookie of the starting line-up Maristela Layug had 6.

Krissa Madalogdog, Kimberly Jamilla, and Cyren Montecer all tallied 11 points for the Batangas City-based Lady Brahmans, who are still winless after 3 games. — Rappler.com