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Lady Maroons buck slow start, beats Lady Falcons in Domingo’s debut

A week from their surprising triumph over the reigning champions, the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons slogged through a rocky start to inch past the Adamson University Lady Falcons 25-23, 25-22, 25-22, and spoil Domingo Custodio’s UAAP Women’s Volleyball Tournament debut at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Falcons started the match with the energy that was lacking in previous matches. Team captain Mylene Paat fired four kills in a 5-0 run that pulled the Lady Falcons to a 16-11 lead. Later, open hitter May Roque delivered in the same way, scoring four times in a stretch that placed Adamson comfortably ahead 23-18. From there, AdU collapsed, failing to score for the rest of the set, as UP’s Kathy Bersola served heavy bombs. Bersola earned two aces in the set-clinching 7-0 run.

The Lady Falcons’ struggle with passing persisted in the second frame. After a Kathy Bersola smash, Diana Carlos followed with a fierce service ace that extended UP’s lead to seven, 22-15. The Lady Falcons mustered a late rally through Jema Galanza’s attacking. UP’s lead evaporated, going down to one, 22-21, but the Lady Maroons managed to rally back. UP successfully traded sideouts until their defense yielded a dig at 24-22. Diana Carlos rewarded her teammate’s defensive play, pounding short sets to give UP the frame.

The third set saw another spirited early run for Adamson, before the wheels came off their wagon. Clinging to a 16-13 lead, the Lady Falcons slipped and allowed UP to slowly crawl back into the lead. After consecutive attacks from Kathy Bersola, the Lady Maroons branched out to a 22-20 advantage. Adamson managed to tie at 22 after a UP error then a Galanza spike, but UP again stepped on the gas pedal. The Lady Maroons pulled two kills then a monstrous triple block on Galanza to punctuate their sixth win of the season.

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“I’m glad we were able to het out of cloud nine. Malagkit pala talaga,” said UP head coach Jerry Yee. “We’re going to have to work on getting to better starts. We can’t allow them to get the opponents to get the jump on us.”

Rookie opposite hitter Diana Carlos poured in a game-high 13 points, which included 12 attacks. Team captain Kathy Bersola tallied 11 points, while Isa Molde added nine.

AdU’s big three Mylene Paat, Gema Galanza, and May Roque did the heavy offensive lifting for the Lady Falcons. Roque tallied 11 points, while Galanza and Paat had 10 each.

Both teams will have their next match on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. UP take on De La Salle University at 4 p.m. while AdU have the University of Santo Tomas at 2 p.m.

The Scores

UP (3) – Carlos 13, Bersola 11, Molde 9, Buitre 8, Tiamzon 6, Dorog 3, Alinas 2, Lai 0, Gaiser (L), Estrañero (L)

AdU (0) – Roque 11, Paat 10, Galanza 10, Dacoron 9, Emnas 2, Alkuino 2, Mohammad 0, Tempiatura (L), Lebumfacil (L)

Written By

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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