The FEU Tamaraws survived the rally of the UP Fighting Maroons squad during their 25-21, 25-18, 18-25, 22-25, 15-10 encounter held at the FilOil Arena in San Juan on Saturday.
The Tamaraws were clicking on all cylinders at the start of the match, cruising and building a comfortable lead early. With their net defense on par, FEU built a 23-16 lead. UP, however, countered with the next five points as the Tamaraws’ spikers could not find the mark late. An outside hit by Fred Abuda and a powerful quick by Greg Dolor closed the opener in favor of FEU.
Carrying on the momentum, FEU built another early cushion against UP. The entire set was all in favor of the Tamaraws as unforced errors piled up for the Maroons. The duo of Dolor and Jeric Gacutan made noise as they ended the second frame up by seven.
For the next two sets, the Maroons reversed the theme of the game as they held the rhythm both offensively and defensively. The Maroons built a lead as big as 10 in the third and they did not let the Tamaraws install a comeback. Up also by a comfortable margin late in the fourth set, the Maroons were able to hold their composure despite losing Wendel Miguel to a sprain injury.
In the deciding set, FEU managed to make their attacks early and build the important lead in the frame. UP’s late set collapse haunted the Maroons as FEU ended the game up by five via a crucial service ace.
FEU simply dominated the attacking department with a huge gap in terms of spikes, 62-44. However, UP took care of their possessions with less errors, 28-32 and had more blocks, 14-11.
Dolor led all scorers with 23 points including three rejections. Gacutan aided him with his 14-point production. Three Maroons scored in double digits led by captain Julius Raymundo’s 13 markers.
With the win, FEU improves to a 3-5 record. On the other hand, UP slides to a 3-6 record after dropping back-to-back games to open the second round.
The Tamaraws will continue their second round games against UST on Jan. 28, 8am at the Mall of Asia Arena while the Maroons seek to stop their losing skid on Feb. 1, 8am against UE at the FilOil Arena.
FEU- Dolor 23, Gacutan 14, Cayaban 9, Margate 8, Barrica 8, Refugia 6, Solis 5, Camcam 4, Villegas 0, Paler 0, Miranda 0, Marmeto R.(L) 0, Marmeto L.(L) 0
UP- Raymundo 13, Abuda 12, Dela Paz 11, Hernandez 8, Miguel 6, Valbuena 6, Cabatigan 4, San Pascual 1, Acuna 0, Nicandro(L) 0