Concluding the first round of eliminations with a bang, the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Lady Maroons defeated the Adamson University (AdU) Lady Falcons, 25-27, 25-14, 25-12, 25-21 today, March 17, at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

State U’s Maristela Layug opened the game with a power tip, which paved way for UP to maintain their strong offense and shake the reception of AdU, gathering them an 8-4 score.

After the first technical timeout, both teams exchanged smart plays with one another, but Justine Dorog ended the tight run, putting UP up with a slim, 16-15, lead.

However, the Lady Falcons quickly strengthened their offense and caused UP to commit more errors closing out the first set, 25-27.

Bernadette Flora made a wipe against the Lady Maroons to kick off the second frame. Following errors from the UP side, Isa Molde answered back with a kill after a 2-3 run favoring AdU.

It was also the Cebuana native that led her team to the first technical timeout with a cross-court attack, 8-4.

Strategized plays from Captain Tots Carlos, Jessma Ramos, and Molde stabilized the Iskas and hampered the defense of Adamson, to extend the lead, 16-9.

The Lady Maroons continued to pressure AdU eventually taking the set, 25-14, to even the game at one set apiece.

Failing to convert chance balls and defend their court, AdU’s reception woes allowed UP an 8-5 score at the beginning of the third set.

Taking advantage of their competitors’ errors, UP doubled on the Lady Falcons, 16-8.

Riding on their momentum, the Lady Maroons made a 9-4 run a la Molde, Carlos, Dorog, and Layug, who gave way to a 25-12 ending for the third set.

UP’s consistent attacks allowed them to force errors on AdU and take in 8-3 during the start of the fourth canto.

Carlos, Dorog, Layug and senior setter Ayel Estrañero’s unpredictable hits led the Lady Maroons to 16-12.

Just when UP was about to seal the win, AdU managed a four-point run, but the former pulled away with a victory at 25-21.

UP Fighting Lady Maroons Co-Captain Ayel Estrañero expressed her gratitude for her teammates’ performance today, which paid off for State U.

Malaking confidence booster siya for the team. It’s good to know na kaya talaga namin manalo if we played together and we believe in each and every one of us.”, said Estrañero.  

Isa Molde and Tots Carlos led their team with 14 points each.

AdU’s Joy Dacoron and Elie Soyud were the top scorers of the Lady Falcons with 15 and 10 markers individually.

UP Head Coach Godfrey Okumu hinted a new look for his squad come second round of the eliminations.

What we will see is the best UP, not the better UP“, iterated Okumu.

The UP Lady Maroons are hoping to continue their win streak come second round that will resume on Wednesday, March 20. TNP

Photo by Summer Padilla

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