Down five points in the deciding set, the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons clawed their way back to win a thrilling match against the DLSU Green Spikers, 22-25, 25-21, 25-14, 22-25, 15-12 in their first assignment for Season 77, held at San Juan Arena.
Wendel Miguel led UP with 18 points, including crucial hits to help the Maroons in their comeback. Captain Julius Raymundo and Frederick Abuda contributed 15 points each.
John Onia and Red Christensen led La Salle in a heartbreaking opener with 22 and 17 markers respectively.
The two teams squared up close for the opening two sets. Oozing with momentum and confidence, UP blew the third set open with timely blocks and ball denials. The Green Spikers then responded for the next set and a half as captain Christensen and Onia led the charge for La Salle, which was poised to close out the last set early.
A timely timeout by UP calmed the Maroons and triggered their impressive comeback in the pivotal set. Abuda pioneered the charge with successive spikes and Miguel provided a huge service ace to lead by a comfortable margin against a rattled La Salle squad.
Despite DLSU winning in the spiking (64-59) and blocking (10-7) departments, the Maroons were able to adjust in crunch time by polishing their net defense late. UP was able to take care of their errors as they committed less, 29-40.
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