August 29, 2018 at 09:40 pm
Manila Standard Sports
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 in San Juan yesterday.
Marian Buitre presided over the Lady Maroons’ stirring fightback from 12-18 down in the fourth with torrid spiking that netted them nine unanswered points then the veteran hitter 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 following the latter’s elims sweep that gained them the top seeding in the best-of-three semis.
UP goes for the clincher on Saturday.
Buitre delivered 23 kills in all and finished with 25 points 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 and 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.
No. 2 UST and third ranked FEU were slugging it out in the other semis playoff at pressime.
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.