After struggling through their first six matches and undergoing a sudden coaching change, the University of the East Lady Warriors pulled of the upset of the tournament, dislodging the Adamson University Lady Falcons 25-22, 22-25, 14-25, 25-20, 15-13, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Lady Warriors recently had Francis Vicente resign as head coach and replaced him with their athletic director Rod Roque. Amidst all the turmoil of their losing stream and the coaching change, the Lady Warriors found respite in the play of their veterans.
The Lady Falcons used an unconventional lineup to start the match, sitting most of their starting lineup. The Lady Warriors took full advantage and crushed the Lady Falcons before disintegrating the next two sets.
Up two sets to one, the Lady Falcons deflated in the fourth set, trailing 10-16 and never coming back due to thwir errors. In the fifth set, veteran Shaya Adorador scored seven points and powered the Lady Warriors to the win. The signature moment of the match came when Adorador floated a hit over two blockers for the ninth time in the decider and the Lady Falcons still failed to respond, costing them the match.
The upset became much of a surprise since the Lady Falcons were fresh off a win over defending champs La Salle.
“Inisip lang namin na kailangan namin manalo. Talagang naghirap kami sa training. Malaki ‘yung in-improve ng Adamson, so talagang alam namin na kailangan namin paghirapan kung mananalo kami,” said Adorador, who finished with 11 points.
“When management asked me to take over, I told them not to expect a miracle. Ang importante, manalo muna kami. Ngayon, we need to move forward,” added Roque.
The Lady Warriors received a generous 52 points off Adamson errors. Mary Ann Mendrez topped the Lady Warriors with 12 markers.
Mylene Paat topped the Lady Warriors with 23 points while Eli Soyud managed 11.
The Lady Warriors still at eighth after the first round with a 1-6 record. The Lady Falcons fell to 3-4, out of the top four.
UE (3) – Mendrez 12, Adorador 11, Abil 9, Rodriguez 8, Baliton 4, Lopez 2, Olarve 2, Bendong 1, Catindig 0, Arado (L)
AdU (2) – Paat 23, Soyud 11, Dacoron 10, Galanza 9, Permentilla 8, Emnas 4, Flora 4, Perez 4, Roque 1, Ponce (L)