The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Lady Maroons exit the season with a straight-set loss against the Adamson University (AdU) Lady Falcons, 20-25, 23-25, 19-25, yesterday, April 27, at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
It was a close first set with both teams going back and forth, but the Lady Falcons went on a 6-0 run and ultimately ended the set with a down the line hit from Bernadette Flora, 23-25.
It was the same situation early in the second set with Adamson pummeling UP’s defense, but the Lady Maroons showed signs of life after going on a mini 4-0 run that got them within two, 20-22.
A Permentilla ace put the Lady Falcons in set point, but the Diliman squad would not let up after scoring three unanswered points, 23-24. An emphatic Joy Dacoron runner sealed the set for Adamson, 23-25, and put UP down 0-2 sets.
Things went sour for the Fighting Maroons in the third set due to a series of costly unforced errors. However, just when Adamson was pulling away, UP kept themselves in the game via a 6-0 run led by Marian Buitre and Jessma Ramos, 16-18.
It was all Adamson towards the end of the third and another Permentilla ace put Adamson in match point, 16-24.
A solid hit from Carlos and back-to-back blocks from Layug could only trim the lead to six in a last ditch effort, with the match ending with another Dacoron runner, 19-25.
On the team’s season
“It was a disappointing season for me as a coach, we started well [with] two championships, but it’s just one of those days,” second-year head coach Godfrey Okumu said.
The team did not dwell much on the game with Okumu saying that the team will have a better forum to recap and assess the entire season and they focused more on wishing their graduating players well.
Nonetheless, he is proud of what the team has achieved and considers it a learning experience as well.
“I’m not a great coach, I’m just a great learner,” Okumu stressed.
On the graduating players
With Buitre and Estrañero playing their final season for the Fighting Lady Maroons, Okumu pointed out that it was an emotional day for the team.
“The heart is heavy not because we can’t fight, but sometimes it’s because it’s your last stand and I’m just happy that I’ve been able to work with players like Ayel and Marian,” he uttered.
On his remaining players filling the void which will be left by the graduating players, “Just like the greatest dancers, the greatest, singers sometimes there comes a time that they will step out of the stage for the young people to come and take over,” he ended.
UP ended the season with a 6-8 slate in fifth place from last year’s sixth. TNP