The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons bucked underwhelming start to take their opening game of the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference in straight sets against the debuting San Beda College Lady Red Spikers, 25-20 25-17 25-20, Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena.
Isa Molde played a double-edged game on offense and defense after getting 15 points, 13 coming from attacks, and 6 digs in this short match.
In the first set, incoming sophomore Isa Molde led the charge for UP as she registered seven points including the set-terminating kill. Francesca Racraquin kept the Mendiola-based spikers in the set, but it was not enough to overhaul the deficit.
After another tight opening in the following set, the Lady Maroons built up comfortable leads. Marian Buitre sparked the offense of the UAAP team after getting back-to-back hits before Molde put their team to a 20-16 lead. The latter fired off three straight kills ending the set in UP’s favor.
With the advantage, UP continued their effort in the third set, fending off the challenge of San Beda with Racraquin at the helm. Justine Dorog kept the Maroons above waters and, ultimately, Molde punched in the crucial hits to finish of the set and the match.
UP head coach Jerry Yee believes that they need to improve despite the win.
“Sloppy yung execution, Pangit pa. Hinahanap namin yung maturity,” he rued. He noted that the team must not show complacency during the match.
Team captain Kathy Bersola added nine markers while Justine Dorog and Nicole Tiamzon scored eight points apiece. Basarte had 39 excellent sets as well.
Francesca Racraquin showed some spark for the debuting San Beda squad with 16 markers, 12 coming from attacks.
The Lady Maroons (1-0) battle the College of Saint-Benilde Lady Blazers (debut) on August 8, Monday at 6pm. Meanwhile, the Lady Red Spikers (0-1) faces the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses on August 3, Wednesday at 4pm. Both matches happen at the Philsports Arena.
UP (3) – Molde 15, Bersola 9, Tiamzon 8, Dorog 8, Carlos 5, Buitre 3, Basarte 2, Gannaban 1, Sandoval 0, Ramos 0, Cailing 0, Gaiser (L), Estranero (L)
SBC (0) – Racraquin C. 16, Viray N. 9, Eulalio 8, Espiritu 3, Cuevas 1, Manuel 1, Viray J. 1, Amador 0, Garcia 0, Racraquin D. (L), Zamudio (L)