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Lady Maroons earn first quarters win; drop Lady Blazers



Keeping character-building in mind, the University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons earned their first win of the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference Quarterfinals at the expense of the struggling College of Saint Benilde (CSB) Lady Blazers in four sets 18-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-19 in the FilOil Flying V Arena.

“Ayaw nating masanay sila sa mga talo,” said UP head coach Jerry Yee whose team notched its first win in three quarterfinal matches. “We’ve been trying to win every game regardless of contention just to build a winning culture with the girls,” he added.

In the opening set, Yee’s squad struggled to limit their errors and with service reception – a persistent problem with the young Lady Maroons – allowing CSB to take a 1-0 lead quite easily. UP, however, came back with renewed vigor in the following sets and doused a slumping CSB side. With UP limiting their errors and loading up their services, CSB had trouble setting up their offense. The girls from Katipunan also took advantage of CSB’s frazzled floor defense pattern, giving them the edge down the stretch of the last three sets.

UP rookie open hitter, Justine Dorog had a marvelous time beating down the CSB blockers, going for 20 points off 18 for 45 attacking. Fellow open hitter, Isa Molde had 14 points while sophomore middle blocker Marian Buitre contributed 11 points.

The Lady Maroons have been playing without veteran anchors, Kathy Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon in the tournament. Coach Yee expressed his confidence that both players can assimilate with the team’s new pieces easily given the time between the SVL and the UAAP.

“Nicole [Tiamzon] has been cleared already. She’s been joining our hard practices,” told Yee about Tiamson who suffered a knee injury after getting hit by a tricycle late last year. Tiamzon managed to finish out the season and participate in the PSL-AFC. Her knee injury, however, was aggravated and she was advised to rest for a few months.

Bersola, on the other hand, is yet to be cleared by doctors to practice. The Makati Science High school alum suffered a severe ACL tear in the first round meeting with the Adamson Lady Falcons in UAAP season 77. “She [Bersola] was examined last week. She didn’t fail the exam but the doctors wanted to give her more time to recover,” added Yee, saying that Bersola will again be tested this following week.

Janine Navarro carried much of the offensive load for the Lady Blazers, dropping 16 markers while middle blocker Jeanette Panaga added 12 points. CSB slumps to the bottom of the standings with a 0-6 record.

UP, on the other hand, has a 1-5 slate and will face fellow 1-5 DLSU-D Lady Patriots on September 6, Sunday. CSB collides with NCAA rivals, AU Lady Chiefs on the same day.

The Scores:

UP (3) – Dorog 20, Molde 14, Buitre 11, Alinas 3, Chopitea 3, Lai 2, Basrte 0, Layug 0, Estranero (L), Gaiser (L)

CSB (1) – Navarro 16, Panaga 12, Musa 7, Torres 5, Santillan 5, Dolorito 3, Cheng 2, Austero 1, Borrero 0, Daguil 0, Enclona (L), Lim (L)


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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