Feisty UP succumbs to Adamson as elims near end

The UP Fighting Maroons put up a gallant stand but could not get things done as they suffered a pair of stingers to the Adamson Soaring Falcons in the UAAP Season 85 collegiate volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena, April 22.

So close, yet so far

The UP Men’s Volleyball Team fell just a hairline short of securing its second win after fellow win-hungry Adamson Soaring Falcons pulled off a monumental comeback, 25-22, 29-27, 28-30, 21-25, 12-15.

State U squandered a 24-21 cushion in the third set before the Falcons reverse-swept the Maroons to send the latter to their 11th loss in 12 games.

Led by team captain Louis Gamban, the Maroons built a two-to-nothing set lead after winning the second frame, 29-27.

The Falcons clawed back in the third set, sparking a 5-0  run early on the third set, but Gamban hammered back-to-back kills to give UP the lead, 18-17.

UP’s Louis Gamban goes for a down-the-line hit. The team skipper exploded for 21 points in their five-set loss to Adamson. Photo by UAAP Season 85 Media Bureau

Staring at a slim one-point lead, JV Malabanan put UP an inch closer to triumph with a kill, 24-21. 

But Adamson’s Marc Paulino ignited a 4-0 run to get the Falcons to set point, 25-24, before closing it out with an off-the-block hit, 30-28.

With a nip-and-tuck third-set affair, State U seemingly lost their composure, committing a couple of crucial errors that gave Adamson a four-point cushion, 18-14.

The Falcons took advantage to tie the match at two sets apiece.

Ranz Cajolo’s through-the-block spike managed to keep UP close in the decider, 10-12, but Adamson continued to carry its momentum to eventually secure the comeback win.

Gamban tallied an impressive double-double of 21 points and 30 excellent receptions in the losing effort, while Cajolo added 20 markers built from 17 kills and three blocks.

Middle blocker Josh Magalaman took the driver’s seat for Adamson with 20 points.

Dry spell still unlifted

A second win this season remained elusive for the UP Women’s Volleyball Team after suffering their ninth straight defeat in the league against the Adamson Lady Falcons, 20-25, 25-27, 25-23, 15-25.

With the loss, State U went down to a 1-11 record, just above the hapless University of the East (UE).

Down by two sets to none after an error-ladden start, the Lady Maroons rallied from a 10-14 deficit in the third set led by the troika of Jewel Encarnacion, Nina Ytang and Stephanie Bustrillo.

Knotted at 21-all, a Jum Gayo service ace and an Encarnacion kill handed the Maroons a two-point cushion before Bustrillo soared high to block a Kate Santiago attack to shock the Adamson side, 25-23.

However, UP’s 37 errors ultimately botched their upset bid as the Lady Falcons wasted no time in sealing the deal with a dominant 25-15 fourth-set win.

Ytang and team captain Encarnacion tallied 15 markers each, while Bustrillo added 14 points in the loss.

Meanwhile, Lucille Almonte led the Lady Falcons with an all-around performance of 13 points, 20 excellent digs and 10 excellent receptions.

The Fighting Maroons will try to put an end to their respective losing streaks as they face the UE Red Warriors on Wednesday, April 26, at the FilOil EcoOil Arena in San Juan City.