Continuing their stellar UAAP build-up, the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons toppled the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses, 25-21, 16-25, 25-23, 25-19, to clinch the first-ever Philippine Superliga Collegiate Grand Slam title at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The CGS is UP’s second title this year. Earlier in 2018, they toppled the Far Eastern University for the PVL Collegiate Conference championship.
UP bounced back from a horrid performance in the play-all second set, staving off a late UST run in the third set. Tied at 23, UST’s Eya Laure served long, setting up Justine Dorog’s set-winning swing.
The fourth year open hitter, however, hurt her shoulder in the process. But despite the setback, UP responded in the fourth set, erasing an 8-2 UST lead to grab a 13-9 cushion. With captain Tin Francisco sustaining a left patella injury during UP’s run, the Tigresses struggled to regain form, allowing UP to run away with the title.
Having had to muster comebacks throughout the match, UP head coach Godfrey Okumu emphasized his team’s fighting mantra.
“We knew that we were going to need to fight for every point today. It was difficult, but my team really showed their composure,” said the Kenyan tactician.
“It’s a lot of pressure for us now heading into UAAP. We’re going to embrace it. That’s going to help us prepare,” the second-year UP head coach added.
Tots Carlos, who missed UP’s last two matches due to an ankle sprain, topped the Lady Maroons with 17 points. Rookie open hitter Nikki Magsarile added 11.
Aside from the gold medal, UP also won funding for their overseas training.
First year wunderkind Eya Laure led the Tigresses with 14 markers, while second year Fil-Italian winger Milena Alessandrini added 13.
In the first match of the day, the University of the East Lady Warriors bagged bronze against the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, 27-25, 25-23, 25-16.
UP (3) – Carlos 17, Magsarile 11, Layug 10, Gannaban 8, Dorog 6, Estrañero 4, Sandoval 4, Ramos 2, Lagman 1, Osoril 0, Sotomil 0, Bautista (L)
UST (1) – Laure 14, Alessandrini 13, Pacres 7, Francisco 6, Jimenez 4, Mangulabnan 3, Roldan 2, Viray 2, Avila 1, Balcorta 1, Delerio (L)