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UP gets much-needed win, stuns UE


Coming off three straight losses, Gelai Penales and the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons played like there is not tomorrow, stunning the University of the East Lady Warriors, 6-4, to keep their playoff hopes alive, Saturday morning.

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UP (4-6)11316122
UE (5-4)121463

“Siyempre we are super happy that we finally got out of our slump,” said UP center fielder Gelai Penalas, who went 2-of-4 at-bat for two runs. “It has been frustrating emotionally but we knew that if we lost one of our remaining games, we will be out of the top four. That was our motivation for this game.”

After winning their first two games, the Lady Maroons went on a long funk, only winning one of their last seven games prior to this contest. With the win, UP is back right into the thick of things, raising their slate to 4-6 — two games behind UE and the NU Lady Bulldogs who are at 5-4.

However, the Lady Maroons had to storm back in the contest as they were down 2-4 heading into the fifth inning.

Needing to pick up the hits as Penales was able to take advantage of an error at second base by UE. What followed was a barrage of singles courtesy of Keith Ferrer, MJ Abanes, and Jaz Movido — the latter bringing home Penales. A fielding error by third basewoman Mary Joy Catacutan punched in the tying run and the go-ahead point.

“It’s really just our focus. Being the first batter, I just told myself na if I get a hit, my teammates will back me up. Same with my teammates, we set individual goals for this game and it paid off,” shared Penales.

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Captain Chanti Bongat was able to punch in an insurance run courtesy of pinch runner Cai de Luna in the seventh inning while Cochise Diolata allowed just one clean connection to close out the last two innings.

“Well, kasi collective talaga yung errors namin. It was not just Chise, it was all of us. We just tell her na, you are the number one pitcher and that don’t let anyone replace you,” Penales remarked about Diolata.

The Lady Maroons will have a long break before facing the Ateneo Lady Eagles on Thursday, March 1. The Lady Warriors, on the other hand, take on the same team on Monday, February 26.

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