After nearly two years without a win, University of the East exorcised their past demons to jumpstart the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Volleyball tournament. Under new head coach Victor Turing IV, the Red Warriors dispatched the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 20-25, 25-10, 25-22, 25-21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
UE benefited heavily from UP’s 36 errors, most of which came in the crucial stages of the last two sets.
Tied at 22 in the third frame, the Maroons surrendered two errors in the final three points, including the setting miscue that cost them the last point. The Red Warriors then saw a 20-17 lead evaporate in the fourth set after UP went on a 3-0 run capped by a Mac Millete smash.
It was Millete, however, who pushed UE to the win. The Maroons surrendered three errors in the final stretch, which included Millete’s mistimed hit that capped the match.
“Sa daming pagsubok na dumating sa team, hindi ako bumitaw, hindi ko binitawan ‘yung mga bata. Kinapitan lang namin ‘yun,” said Turing, who served as Trainer in Season 80, before replacing his mentor, 12-time NCAA champion coach with Perpetual Altas Sammy Acaylar.
“Sabi namin na panghahawakan talaga namin ‘yung pride namin this season. Gusto lang namin suklian ‘yung binibigay sa amin ng school,” he added.
Diminutive opposite hitter Clifford Inoferio topped the Red Warriors with 14 points, while middle blocker Lloyd Josafat added 13.
Opposite hitter Millete led UP with 17 points, while Niccolo Consuelo managed 12.
The Red Warriors (1-0) face defending champions National University Bulldogs (0-0) next Saturday. On the other hand, UP (0-1) take on the Far Eastern University (0-0) on Wednesday. Both matches will be played at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
UE (3) – Inoferio 14, Josafat 13, Abalon 10, Ortega 10, Alba 4, Imperial 4, Adriano 3, Bonoan 1, Ernacio 0, Imperial 0, Medina (L), Solis (L)
UP (1) – Millete 17, Consuel 12, San Pedro 8, Castillo 6, San Pascual 4, Ijiran 3, Baldelovar 2, Enteria 1, Yan 0, Evaristo 0, Nasol (L)