The KIA Forte ended their heartbreaking losing streak, beating the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons 25-22, 19-25, 25-19, 25-19 in the Shakeys V –League Reinforced Conference at the FilOil Flying V Arena Sunday afternoon.
Trailing 23-19 in the first set, Jewel Lai and Isa Molde tried to carry Lady Maroons back into the contest but their own error gave the set to KIA. In the following set the Lady Maroons fought back with Molde, Justine Dorog, and Marian Buitre conspiring to build a 19-13 lead. Wenneth Eulalio and Angelica Legacion prevented UP’s lead from growing but KIA’s errors allowed UP to net their only set.
KIA bounced back in the third set as Mina Aganon unleashed cross-court hits that gave Forte a 16-11 advantage heading into the second technical timeout. Legacion, Eulalio, Shiela Pineda, and Alexa Micek provided timely points to overwhelm the Lady Maroons.
Aganon continued to lead KIA as they mounted a 16-10 lead in the fourth set. The Lady Maroons, through Dorog and Molde, kept chasing KIA in the latter part of the set, but Molde committed an attack error to give KIA its first win of the tournament.
“I said two words in the practice at huddle kanina, puso at pride. UP is a strong, cohensive and promising team. Still pride and heart ang nag deliver sa amin,” said KIA coach Oliver Almadro, while also praising the clutch performance of the veterans on his team. The Ateneo Men’s Volleyball team mentor lauded the sacrifices and adjustments made by the former Cagayan Lady Rising Suns players on his team – the former libero, Bang Pineda, and the injured former team captain Angge Tabaquero.
Aganon scored 15 points and managed 12 digs to lead KIA, while Legacion tossed 38 excellent sets. Meanwhile, Molde finished with 19 points, 17 coming from attacks, and also had 14 digs for the Lady Maroons. Diana Carlos chipped 11 markers all coming from attacks.
The Lady Maroons committed 39 errors against the Forte’s 18, which erased their 52-41 attacking advantage.
The Lady Maroons (2-2) will next face the Philippine Army Lady Troopers(4-0) on November 14 at 3:00 PM to end their elimination round campaign. KIA(1-3) will square up against the PLDT Home Ultera Ultra Fast Hitters(3-1) at 12:45 PM on the same day at the same venue. A UP loss and KIA win will force a tie for fourth place and a playoff for the final semis berth.
KIA (3) – Aganon 15, Castaneda 7, Eulalio 7, Micek 6, Legacion 6, Pineda 6, Layug 5, Guevarra 3, Tabaquero 0, Cui (L), Reyes (L)
UP (1) – Molde 19, Carlos 11, Dorog 9, Bersola 9, Buitre 6, Tiamzon 3, Chopitea 3, Lai 2, Cailing 1, Gaiser (L)
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