After dropping their last four games of 2014, the UP Fighting Maroons opened the new year with an impressive 25-23, 22-25, 25-20, 25-17 victory over the FEU Tamaraws at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday morning.
The opening two sets displayed a neck-and-neck match between the two teams as both exchanged scoring runs. UP escaped with a two-point first set win as FEU’s poor reception late helped the Maroons in the opener. FEU countered with a close second set win thanks to UP’s late set collapse.
In the third frame, FEU committed several errors that helped UP erect a comfortable lead throughout the set. The Maroons led by as much as eight and despite the Tamaraws making a late set rally, UP was able to hang on due to their net defense.
Equipped with confidence and momentum, the Maroons started the fourth set on fire and built an early cushion against the rattled FEU team. UP’s blocking played a huge part late as they closed out the game up by eight.
Despite the loss, FEU was dominant in the attacking department 53-42. On the other hand, UP scored more in blocks, 11-4 and had more bonus points from their service aces, 10-1. In addition, UP also committed less errors at 27-34.
Four Maroons scored double digits led by Christian Dela Paz with 14 and Julius Raymundo’s 13. FEU’s duo of Joshua Barrica and Greg Dolor contributed 18 each for the losing team.
UP- Dela Paz 14, Raymundo 13, Miguel 12, Abuda 11, Cabatingan 7, San Pascual 6, Diaz 0, Hernandez 0, Nicandro(L) 0
FEU- Barrica 18, Dolor 18, Gacutan 8, Camcam 6, Solis 3, Margate 3, Villegas 1, Cayaban 1, Paler 0, Refugia 0, Beliran 0, Marmeto (L) 0