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Thursday, May 30, 2024

UP Maroons outlast Adamson for first win in UAAP men’s volleyball

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University of the Philippines is winless no more, quashing Adamson University in four sets, 19-25, 25-23, 25-23, 28-26, in the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Volleyball Tournament on Saturday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

The Fighting Maroons finally entered the win column in their 12th try for a 1-11 record, also ending a 15-game losing spell dating back to last season.

“It was very good for us. It was our first win and I think the introduction of a new system and culture to the team were the ones that brought us to where we are now,” said Vip Isada, who returned to coaching UP’s men’s volleyball team this season after relinquishing his post after Season 75 (2012-13).

This is Isada’s first win with UP MVT since defeating the University of the East in five sets during the last game of the elimination round of Season 75.

The Fighting Maroons needed all the stops they could get in the fourth to end the match in two hours and three minutes.

Back-to-back blocks by Leo Coguimbal and Jude Aguilar on Louis Gamban put the Soaring Falcons ahead at 26-25.

Then UP team captain Dan Nicolas equalized with a quick kill followed by lefty Brian Chavez’s right-hand tip that dropped for the Fighting Maroons’ match point, 27-26.

Dan Gutierrez almost retaliated for Adamson but his follow-through on his spike forced him to touch the net to give UP the win.

“Sobrang saya kasi para sa amin lahat ng oras namin ikino-commit namin sa training. Masaya na makita yung fruit ng paghihirap namin,” said Jaivee Malabanan, who led UP with 17 points, 19 receptions, and nine digs.

Clarence Santiago orchestrated the Fighting Maroons’ offense splendidly with 26 excellent sets, along with seven points, resulting in four players in double figures.

Angelo Lagando and Gamban each finished with 13 points while Nicolas had 12 for UP, which looks to continue its strong finish to the season next Saturday when it faces Far Eastern University at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Marc Paulino paced Adamson with 20 points, Francis Casas added 18, while Coguimbal and Aguilar managed 12 and 11, respectively.

The Soaring Falcons slumped to their third consecutive defeat for a 4-7 card, seeing their Final Four chances dimmed. A win by both the De La Salle University Green Spikers and the University of Santo Tomas Golden Spikers will shut the door on their Final Four hopes.

Adamson seeks to stop its skid on Wednesday against La Salle at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

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