After dropping the first set, the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses surged late to dispel the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, 22-25, 25-20 25-18, 26-24, in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Tigresses opened the match, taking an 8-4 lead, before their serve reception crumbled and allowed the Lady Maroons to slowly nip away at the lead. Three straight UST errors pushed UP to a 22-19 gap that persisted until the end of the set.
“Mabagal talaga ‘yung start namin. Sabi ko nga sa kanila na okay lang magkamali kami, basta makabawi,” said UST assistant coach Ian Fernandez who sat in for head coach Kungfu Reyes.
The following sets saw the Tigresses grab big leads midway, as the Lady Maroons experienced their share of fumbled passes.
The Tigresses then slowed down in the fourth set, giving way for the Lady Maroons to take a 16-11 lead. UP, however, gave up crucial errors in a run that propelled the Tigresses to a 22-20 advantage. Crucial transition conversions from Nicole Magsarile kept UP in the game and forced a 24-all knot. With the match tittering, team captain Tin Francisco punched in a quick hit which set up Eya Laure’s game-clinching down-the-line smash.
The former UAAP Juniors Most Valuable Player Laure finished with 18 points and several plays which ignited the UST crowd. Francisco added 16 markers.
“Si Eya kasi since Grade 5 pa lang, kasama na namin ‘yan kaya alam niya ma kung ano ‘yung kailangan namin sa kanya,” said Fernandez.
Isa Molde led the Lady Maroons with 13 points while Magsarile finished with 12.
UST (4-0) takes on Saint Benilde (1-3) on Saturday while UP (1-1) faces San Sebastian (0-3) on Wednesday at the same venue.
UST (3) – Laure 18, Francisco 16, Sandoval 12, Jimenez 8, Viray 6, Alessandrini 4, Bicar 2, Galdones 1, Galanza 0, Delero (L), Martin (L)
UP (1) – Molde 13, Magsarile 12, Buitre 7, Gannaban 7, Bernardo 5, Estrañero 3, Layug 3, Bautista 2, Sotomil 0, Altomea (L)