Bowing out of semis contention last week, the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons managed a positive end to their Premier Volleyball League Open Conference campaign, vanquishing the Power Smashers in five sets, 25-17, 21-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Lady Maroons were caught in a 1-2 sets gap after letting the third frame slip away due to crucial late miscues. UP, however, out-muscled the Power Smashers in the proceeding sets. The Katipunan program mounted an 18-7 start in the fourth set and staved off a late Power Smashers rally to force a decider.
Open hitters Tots Carlos and Isa Molde were instrumental in UP’s 8-3 start in the fifth set. With the Power Smashers threatening to extend the match, coming within two points, 13-11, it was Carlos who provided the late punches that swung the win to UP.
Although the contest had no bearing, UP head coach Jerry Yee commented on the win’s importance in providing momentum for their Collegiate Conference campaign in September.
“Masaya kami and importante pa ‘din na manalo kanina just to see the girls execute what we practice. Also, we’re hoping for a better outcome in the Collegiate Conference,” said Yee. “Hopefully, this helps us.”
Batch-mates Molde and Carlos towed the UP offense with 19 and 23, points respectively. The Lady Maroons finished the conference out of last place with a 2-5 record.
The Power Smashers had their pair of Arellano Lady Chiefs Jovelyn Prado and Regine Arocha provide the offensive punch. Arocha tallied 18 while Prado provided 15.
The Power Smashers played the most five-setters in the conference, going 1-4 in five outings. They ended their conference with a 1-6 record after making the Reinforced Conference semis.
UP (3) – Carlos 23, Molde 19, Gannaban 10, Layug 8, Estrañero 7, Cailing 6, Bernardo 0, Dorog 0, Rosier 0, Sandoval 0, Altomea (L)
Power Smashers (2) – Arocha 18, Prado 15, Marzan 13, Pacres 12, Esguerra 9, Tan 3, Bicar 2, Guillema 2, Villegas 2, Sta. Rita 1, Galang (L)
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