UP fails to defend crown, bows out in semis

By Luisa Morales

Defending champions University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons failed to return to the finals, losing to the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, 2-1 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Thursday night.

The Diliman squad started the game on the offensive, bombarding the FEU defense with powerful strikes.

But it was the Tamaraws who drew first blood.

From a corner kick, FEU took the lead courtesy of a header from Rico Andes, 1-0 at the 22nd minute mark; however, the Morayta-based club had little time to celebrate.

Less than a minute after the goal, Maroon Kintaro Miyagi scored an equalizer off the rebound after teammate JB Borlongan cut through the Tamaraw defense.

With momentum on their side, the Maroons continued on the offensive with multiple attempts to take the lead. At halftime, the game remained at deadlock, 1-all.

Come kick-off for the second half, both squads looked to take the upper hand.

At the 56th minute, FEU broke the stalemate.

Despite efforts from the Maroon defense, Andes was able to put the ball at the back of the net to give the lead back to the Morayta squad, 2-1.

Unfazed by the lead, UP continued to attack coming up with numerous attempts and almost goals, but FEU did just enough to hold the lead until the final whistle.

Despite the loss, it was still a great season for the Maroon booters who will miss the services of graduating players Ace Villanueva, Ryan Fermin, and Season 78 MVP Daniel Gadia.

UP bids goodbye to Final Four, seniors

Text by Luisa Morales

Photo by Mark Kevin Reginio

Time has come for the curtain call.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons close their season with a loss, bowing down to the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws in three sets, 16-25, 16-25, 25-27, at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan, Wednesday.

In a heartbreaking loss, the Diliman squad failed to book a final four ticket; finishing the season with a 7-7 win-loss card.

UP kept it close at the start of the match, playing at pace with the Tamaraws. By the middle of the set, State U only trailed by 2, 16-14.

However, the Lady Tamaraws gained steam coming from the technical timeout. A dominating 9-2 run at end the set gave FEU a 1-0 lead, 25-16.

It was another neck-and-neck start in the second set, both teams scoring back and forth. The Lady Tamaraws held a single point advantage over UP, 8-7.

But another huge run from the Sampaloc-based squad helped them pull away from the struggling Lady Maroons. At one point of the set, FEU was up by 10, 21-11.

Despite a late run from UP, the deficit proved too big to overcome.

FEU took a commanding 2-0 lead, 25-16.

Trailing by two sets, the Diliman squad looked out of the fight. It was a slow start for State U at the beginning of the third set, with FEU up 4-0.

But a crucial run brought UP back into the set. Scoring six straight points, the Lady Maroons held a three-point advantage by the first technical timeout, 8-5.

Eager to extend the match, the Lady Maroons battled to keep themselves alive.

FEU was at match point, 24-21 but UP wasn’t going down just yet. Late game heroics from veterans Kathy Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon powered the Maroons to extend the set.

The whole arena was on their feet with the teams tied at 25-all. But questionable calls from the officials gave FEU the match, 27-25.

The loss signaled the end of the season for the Lady Maroons. And for veterans Bersola, Tiamzon and Princess Gaiser, everything has come to an end.

The match was the culmination of the trio’s career in UP.

Despite the disappointing loss, Tiamzon remains grateful for the opportunity to play for the Lady Maroons for five consecutive years.

“Wala kaming ibang masasabi kundi thank you sa limang taon na binigay niyo rin sa’min na pagtitiwala, sa limang taon na privilege to play for UP, ” she said.

Bersola, who regrets not being a hundred percent in the 14 games they played, believes that they were able to re-establish UP as a Final Four contender team, especially after they were able to enter the Final Four last season after missing the semifinals for 12 years.

“Siguro yung pinaka legacy namin is sinubukan talaga namin ibalik yung winning ways sa UP, the former skipper said.

Gaiser, who is now recovering from a torn ACL, takes pride in the fight her teammates showed.

She kept reminding her teammates to “play with passion and pride and play because you want to.”

The final games of the elimination on Saturday will feature a battle for the top seed between the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) Lady Eagles and the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers, while the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigresses will try to hang on to the third spot and eliminate the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs.

UP falls to UST in three sets, puts Final Four spot on the line

Text by Luisa Morales

Photo by Mark Kevin Reginio

Diliman fans are holding their breaths for the Final Four.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons failed to cement their spot in the Final Four in their first attempt, as they bowed down to the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigresses in straight sets, 20-25, 21-25, 16-25, at the Mall of Asia Arena, Sunday.

The game started out tight, with both teams going at it. Neither team was giving up any ground, and the ecstatic crowd was at the edge of their seats with every rally.

It was neck and neck until the second technical timeout with UST up only by a point, 16-15, but the España squad pulled away late in the set with blocks and costly errors from the Lady Maroons to draw first blood, 25-20.

Things looked brighter for State U in the second set. Starting out strong, the Diliman team held a five-point cushion in the middle of the set, 11-6.

However, a barrage of attacks from the Tigresses proved too much for the Lady Maroons. UST dominated the rest of the set to take a 2-0 lead against UP, 25-21.

By the third set, the Maroon squad looked out of steam. Riding on the momentum of their 2-0 lead, UST pounded State U leading at one point by 10.

Despite a mini-run from State U courtesy of veteran Nicole Tiamzon, UST’s lead proved too big to overcome.

The Tigresses eventually won the match, 25-16.

Sophomore Tots Carlos led State U with eight points while Isa Molde and Tiamzon contributed seven markers each.

Ennajie Laure powered UST with 15 points, while skipper Cherry Ann Rondina followed closely behind with 14.

“They [UST] really played well, and it was, again, our errors that killed us,” UP Captain Ayel Estrañero said.

State U ended the match with 26 errors, five more than UST’s 21.

The Lady Maroons are set for a do-or-die match for a Final Four spot against Far Eastern University (FEU) on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

“There is no time to be down after this game. Kailangan namin bumawi, kailangan gandahan ang training to gain some confidence going into Wednesday’s game,” the captain said.

UP emerges victorious against ADU, looms over top seed Ateneo

By Luisa Morales

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons continue their pursuit of the top spot as they defeated the Adamson University (ADU) Soaring Falcons, 3-1 at the Far Eastern University-Diliman field, Sunday.

Once again playing without veterans Daniel Gadia, Ace Villanueva and Ian Clarino, the young Diliman squad was in top shape despite the handicap.

It was a strong start for UP as they kept Falcon goalie Carl Viray busy. Viray turned away shots from the Maroon offense but soon enough, one got through.

Rvin Resuma got the offense going for State U, scoring a goal at the 35th minute mark with help from teammate Christian Lapas.

With the momentum on their side, it wasn’t long until Lapas rushed past Viray for another goal to give the Maroons a two-goal cushion before the half ended.

But the Soaring Falcons weren’t going to let up just yet. Just before the whistle blew at the half, ADU’s Marc de Guzman took advantage of a defensive error by State U. The goal got Adamson on the board, 2-1 by the half.

Any chance of a comeback from the Falcons was quickly dashed as Javier Bonoan got the ball to the back of the Falcons, with the help of a free kick from JB Borlongan.

By the 49th minute mark, State U regained a two-goal lead.

Despite ADU still pushing until the end, UP goalie Jose Yared and the rest of the defense held their opponents back to keep the score as it was.

The defending champions are breathing on the necks of first-seed Ateneo as they trail only by two points. UP looks to strengthen their title defense against the University of Santo Tomas (UST) on March 30 at the Moro Lorenzo Field.

UP strengthens Final Four bid, dominates NU

by Luisa Morales

The Lady Maroons are back with a vengeance.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons overpowered the  National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs as they win in four sets, 25-14, 25-27, 25-21, 25-12, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Sunday.

The Diliman volleybelles dominated every aspect of the match, avenging their first round loss to Jaja Santiago and the Lady Bulldogs.

UP veteran Nicole Tiamzon did not see action the whole match, with reserve Aiesha Laine Gannaban starting in all four sets.

It was a great day for UP fans. The Lady Maroons were on fire from the get-go, taking advantage of the poor reception of their opponents.

Loaded serves and powerful spikes from the Diliman squad allowed them to cruise through the first set, 25-14.

But the Bulldogs weren’t afraid to bite back. The second set was tighter with both squads going back-and-forth until the end.

NU had a set point 24-23 but the Lady Maroons managed to extend the set. Despite UP getting a set point of their own, NU was able to win the set 27-25; tying the game at one set a piece.

By the third set, State U looked poised to dominate again. Great floor defense and attacking from the Maroons looked too much for NU to handle.

It was all UP as they led the set 17-5, but NU did not go down without a fight. With a stunning 15-3 run, they caught up with UP at 20-all.

The UP fans were at the edge of their seats as the set was suddenly within NU’s reach.

Key plays from State U, however, powered the Diliman-based squad to take a 2-1 lead, 25-21.

Unfazed by the fierce comeback of their opponents, UP came into the fourth set looking to finish strong.

NU looked tired as State U kept pounding the Lady Bulldogs with loaded serves, while UP veteran Kathy Bersola answered everything Santiago had to offer.

The Lady Maroons ended the match on a high note, dominating NU all throughout the set, 25-12.

UP finished the match with five Lady Maroons in double figures – Bersola, Isa Molde and Tots Carlos had 14 points apiece, while Gannaban and Ali Buitre chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Captain Jaja Santiago led NU with 18 points, followed by Aiko Urdas with 12 markers.

With the crucial win, the Lady Maroons tie the Lady Bulldogs at fourth place with a 7-5 win-loss card, and more importantly, keep their Final Four hopes alive.

UP is set to face the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigresses, currently at solo third, on April 2, at the Mall Of Asia Arena.

Undermanned UP booters power through UE, 3-1

by Luisa Morales

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons inched closer to defending their crown as they outlasted the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors, 3-1 at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field, Thursday.

The Diliman team emerged victorious despite playing without captain Daniel Gadia, Ace Villanueva, and Ian Clarino, who are preparing with the national Men’s U22 team, set to compete in the upcoming Southeast Asian games.

UP started the match hot, with Maroon JB Borlongan hitting a goal only four minutes after the opening whistle blew.

But the Warriors answered back just as quick.

Right after the restart, UE booter Regil Galaura raced past the Maroon defense to get the ball to teammate Mar Diano to even it up 1-1 at the fifth minute mark.

It was the Maroons who dominated the rest of the first half, Borlongan scoring another goal 13 minutes before half time to take the lead back, 2-1.

By the second half, UP did not seem to be content with a one goal lead.

At the 77th minute mark, Maroon Miggy Clarino’s shot bounced off the UE keeper, allowing Sean Patangan to guide the ball to the back of the net.

The goal further cushioned UP’s lead, 3-1.

The Diliman squad’s defense held their ground to keep UE goal less in the second half.

With the victory, the defending champions improve to 21 points as UP trails behind league leaders Ateneo de Manila University only by two points.

Still without their leaders, UP will take on Adamson University, Sunday at the Far Eastern University (FEU) field.

Lady Maroons fail to repeat sweep of La Salle

By Denver Del Rosario

The University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons are back on the losing end as they crumbled before defending champions, De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Archers in straight sets, 25-27, 11-25, 17-25, in the UAAP 79 volleyball tournament today at Filoil Flying V Arena.

After a strong showing in the first set, the Diliman-based squad eventually lost steam in the second and third sets as the Lady Archers took advantage of their reception woes.

“Andun pa rin yung errors sa first ball,” said team captain Arielle Estranero. “It’s normal to commit an error during the game pero lately, napapadami siya, and it’s something we have to work on in training.”

Majoy Baron led the onslaught for DLSU with 16 points—six of which are service aces–while Des Cheng, Kim Dy, and Tine Tiamzon contributed 11 each.

On the other hand, sophomore Isa Molde spearheaded the charge for the Lady Maroons with 12 points, while Diana Carlos added 11.

While the Lady Maroons played slightly better in non-scoring skills (digging, receiving, and setting), the Lady Archers outperformed them in the scoring departments (spiking, blocking, and serving).

The Taft-based squad proved their blocking prowess with nine block points over the Lady Maroons’ two. Moreover, the Lady Archers scored 11 points in the service department, while UP only registered a single point.

The Lady Archers surged ahead in the first set with a six-point lead, 4-10, courtesy of attacks from Dy and Cheng.

However, the Lady Maroons rallied in the later part of the set as they took the driver’s seat, 19-17, with an error from Kim Fajardo and a drop ball by Molde.

The Diliman-based squad had two set points at 24-23 and 25-24, but DLSU showed composure as they snatched the set, 25-27, via an error by Marian Buitre and a block by Cheng.

The Lady Maroons lost their energetic display as DLSU tallied a 10-point lead in the second set, 10-20.

An ace by Baron and an error by Buitre finished the set in favor of the Taft-based team.

In the third set, the Lady Archers built a six-point lead midway, 8-14, courtesy of attacks by Baron.

The Lady Maroons tried to claw back, 12-15, via a Carlos spike, but DLSU scored four consecutive points from an attack by Dy and three aces from Baron, 12-19.

The Lady Maroons eventually failed to stage a comeback as Baron closed the game with a block on Nicole Tiamzon.

With the loss, UP sinks deeper in the team standings with a 5-5 win-loss card, tied with the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws in fifth place.

For their four remaining games, Estranero looks to maintain a positive outlook.

“Siyempre, tuloy lang ang laban,” said Estranero. “The fight is not yet over. We just have to build our confidence from the past few games and we can’t let this game affect us.”

The Lady Maroons will next face the Adamson University (ADU) Lady Falcons on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

(Photo taken on Feb. 11, 2017, first-round match between UP and UE.) 

State U football squads emerge victorious

By Luisa Morales

The University of the Philippines (UP) nabbed back-to-back wins as both UP Diliman men’s and women’s football teams overpowered their opponents at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Saturday.

The Lady Maroons got their first win of the season, coming back against the University of Santo Tomas (UST), 2-1.

Meanwhile, the Fighting Maroons handed second-seed Far Eastern University their first loss, 1-0.

The España squad controlled the match during the first half, converting their possessions with chances and making the match a tough start for the Lady Maroons.

Maroon goalie Nicole Adlawan kept the match goalless for most of the half, but Tigress Charise Lemoran managed to elude State U’s defense and bring the ball to the back of the net at injury time (45+2) to put UST up, 1-0.

But the Lady Maroons did not back down. The defending champions finally showed up at the second half, scoring two goals within three minutes to rise up against UST.

State U substitute Patricia Malonzo scored at the 57th mark and provided an assist at the 60th mark to teammate Claudia Mendoza to give them the lead, 2-1.

UST tried to bring the match back to a deadlock, but Adlawan denied them every time.

Meanwhile, the Fighting Maroons also emerged on top in an intense battle against FEU, one of the top football teams this season.

Both teams drew a lot of chances in the first half but could not convert, finishing the half still at a deadlock.

Despite misses from good attempts by State U, the defending champions kept their aggressiveness in the second half.

In a spectacular sequence, Maroon JB Borlongan intercepted the ball from the FEU side and passed to teammate Arvin Resuma to lead the ball past the Tamaraw goalie to break the deadlock at the 65th minute mark, 1-0.

State U stayed on the attack almost hitting another goal from a free kick if not for the crossbar, while FEU struggled to cope with UP’s offense.

The Fighting Maroons are now tied with the Tamaraws at the second spot with 18 points each, while the Lady Maroons improve to four points at the expense of second-ranked UST.

The Lady Maroons are set to face the FEU Lady Tamaraws on March 29 while the Fighting Maroons go up against the University of the East (UE) on March 23.

(The photo was taken from the UP Women’s Football Team Facebook page.)

UP ends drought, stays in contention for Final 4

by Keith Magcaling

The University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons snapped their four-game losing skid with a four-set win, 25-14, 18-25, 25-15, 25-10, over the University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors on Wednesday at the Fil Oil Flying V Center in San Juan.

Tots Carlos led the charge for the Lady Maroons with 21 points, while veteran Kathy Bersola racked in a season-high 18 points.

Sophomore Isa Molde chipped in 16 markers, as the Maroons bombarded the Warriors with 49 attack points.

The Lady Warriors shook off a bad opening set performance and caught UP off-guard early in the second set to enter the first technical time out with a five-point lead, 8-3, four of which were service aces.

The Lady Warriors, led by skipper Shara Adorador, who had 12 points, stayed in front throughout the second frame, and a service error from Carlos saw them level the match at one set apiece.

However, the Lady Maroons, hit with a series of setbacks, including losing libero Pia Gaiser to an ACL injury, were determined to get out of the slump and end the drought as they aggressively closed out the succeeding sets.

Captain Ayel Estrañero shelled out 43 excellent sets and outmaneuvered opposing setter Roselle Baliton who had 25.

The Diliman-based volleybelles tallied their first win in five games after starting their campaign with a 4-0 win-loss card. They improve to 5-4 and are in a four-way tie with Far Eastern University (FEU), University of Santo Tomas (UST), and National University (NU) at the third spot, while the Lady Warriors remain at seventh place with a 1-8 record.

The Lady Maroons look to once again upset the defending champions, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers (7-2), when they face them on March 19 at the Fil Oil Flying V Arena in San Juan at 4 p.m

Journalism wins 2017 CMC Cup

For the first time since 2013, the College of Mass Communication’s Journalism Department has reclaimed the annual CMC Cup.

Journalism clinched the title after amassing 353 points, followed by the Broadcast Communication Department with 310. The departments of Communication Research and Film rounded out the last two spots with 298 and 211 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, the college also awarded four exceptional students for their participation and dedication in the Cup’s games.

Denver del Rosario, Angela Buensuesco, Arjay Torno and Rocky Morilla were hailed most valuable players for Journalism, Broadcast Communication, Communication Research and Film, respectively.

The three-day-long, points system sporting event among CMC’s departments consists of a variety of games that tests students’ motor skills such as modified relay and running games. The tournament is then capped off with traditional basketball and volleyball matches.

With the goal of fostering “camaraderie, friendly competition, and sportsmanship among Maskom students, faculty, and personnel,” this year’s CMC Cup rolled out with a gaming theme, with matches named after well-known apps such as Angry Birds and Pokemon Go, among others.

(Photo grabbed from the CMC Cup Facebook page.)

ADMU sends UP to fourth-straight loss in one-sided Battle of Katipunan

By John Remil Isaga and Luisa Morales

Gone are the days when the UP Fighting Maroons were the top contenders for the UAAP Season 79 Women’s Volleyball Championship.

After losing star libero Princess Gaiser to a career-ending anterior cruciate ligament tear, the dispirited Maroons were handed their fourth straight loss in a dominating sweep (15-25, 14-25, 15-25) by the Ateneo Lady Eagles in the opening bout of the second round at the Araneta Coliseum, Sunday.

The Diliman-based fan favorites never got their rhythm going as they were handily dismantled by their neighboring sisters.

The Lady Eagles were dominant in almost every aspect of the match, completely overpowering the Maroons in spikes, 44-24. Errors plagued the Diliman squad with ADMU getting 21 free points courtesy of State U.

It was not a good day for the UP offense either, with none of the Maroons getting double digit points.

In their lowest output in scoring of the season, Isa Molde led State U with only eight points. Jia Maraguinot shined the brightest of the Katipunan squad with 17.

With this loss, UP falls to sixth place after once going undefeated at 4-0. They will try to bounce back against the UE Lady Warriors on Wednesday, March 15 at the Fil Oil Flying V Arena, San Juan. #

Ateneo booters draw UP, remain undefeated

by Luisa Morales

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons failed to pull off a win against Katipunan rivals Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, ending their second meeting of the season with a 1-1 draw at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Sunday.

The Eagles maintain their clean slate as they go through their eighth game of the season without a loss.

Determined to avenge their first round encounter, the Diliman booters started the match strong, putting together on-target shots that had the ADMU defense on their heels.

Maroon Kintaro Miyagi was the first to break the deadlock at the 32nd minute mark. The Diliman team had several attempts to increase the lead but ended the half still at 1-0.

Ateneo had their minds set on a comeback by the second half. Eagle Jayra Rocha managed to score a header from a corner kick to bring the match back to a deadlock at the 66th minute, 1-1.

With plenty of time to take the lead again, UP remained dangerous until the end of the match but was not able to covert.

Ateneo remains at the top of the rankings, pulling away a little more from second seed Far Eastern University with 20 points.

The Fighting Maroons trail by 5 points at 15, good enough for the third spot.