University of the Philippines, benefiting much from its Open Conference stint, gave San Beda a rude welcome, fashioning out a 25-20, 25-17, 25-20 victory to kick off its campaign in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Saturday.
Isa Molde unleashed a 15-hit game spiked by 13 attack points while skipper Katherine Bersola, Justine Dorog, Nicole Tiamzon and Diana Carlos combined for 30 points for the Lady Maroons, who outhit the Lady Red Spikers, 38-31, to cruise to a 62-minute victory.
Tiamzon led the team in defense by coming through with three blocks for an eight-point output that included three aces while Mae Basarte kept their offense in motion and finished with 42 excellent sets for the Diliman-based squad, which finished tied for fifth with the National U Bulldogs in the recent season-opening conference of the country’s premier women’s volley league sponsored by Shakey’s.
The Lady Red Spikers, playing in the league where it all started for the first time as part of their buildup for the NCAA wars, kept the game close majority of the way in each set but just couldn’t match the Lady Maroons’ strong finishing kick anchored on Molde.
Francesca Racqaquin turned in a game-high 16-hit performance while Nieza Viray backed her up with nine points and guest player Wenneth Eulalio had eight but the rest struggled in the face of the Lady Maroons’ superb all around game in a match aired live over ABS-CBN Sports + Action Channel 17 and 23 and over HD TV Ch 166 and via live streaming on sports.abs-cbn.com.
“Everybody contributed and that’s what we need to succeed in this league,” said UP coach Jerry Yee, eyeing a breakthrough in the league backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.
Earlier, La Salle bucked Johnvic De Guzman’s 27-hit game as it hacked out a 25-20, 25-22, 25-23, 25-21 victory over St. Benilde in the opener of the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Collegiate Conference.
Raymark Woo scored 24 points, including 22 kills, while Mike Frey and Arjay Onia combined for 29 markers as the Archers pulled through in a tight third set duel then hung tough in the fourth to fashion out the four-set victory.
The Archers came away with 54 attack points, eight more than the Blazers, while producing 13 blocks against their rivals 10.
St. Benilde, which rammed in six aces against its sister team’s four, also drew 11 points from guest player Michael Bagalay while Isaah Arda and Josh Montano combined for 15 markers.
UP Diliman also hacked out a tough four-set win over Emilio Aguinaldo College, 25-23, 29-27, 19-25, 25-18, to gain an early share of the lead in the country’s premier men’s volley league.
Gerard Valbuena fired 16 points, skipper Wendel Miguel hit 14 hits, Mark Millete pumped in 12 markers and Gian San Pascual added 10 points for UP.
It was an intense battle all throughout with both teams finishing with 51 attack points each and UP barely edging EAC in blocks, 7-6, and aces, 6-5.
Israel Encisa unloaded a 24-hit game and Kerth Melliza added 17 points for the Generals, who failed to get the breaks in a thrilling second set duel and failed to sustain their big rebound in the third frame.
Games tomorrow (Philsports Arena)
11 p.m. – UST vs NCBA (S Turf)
1 p.m. –NU vs FEU (S Turf)
4 p.m. – St. Benilde vs FEU
6 p.m. – Ateneo vs TIP (V-League)