Lady Maroons stay in playoff race, oust Bulldogs

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National U’s Risa Sato (5) foils UP’s Mae Basarte’s attack with Lady Bulldog Jorelle Singh providing help during their Shakey’s V-League clash at the Philsports Arena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

National U’s Risa Sato (5) foils UP’s Mae Basarte’s attack with Lady Bulldog Jorelle Singh providing help during their Shakey’s V-League clash at the Philsports Arena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

University of the Philippines rode on Diana Carlos’ power game and pounced on National U’s erratic reception as the Lady Maroons pounded out a 25-22, 25-27, 25-13, 25-22 victory yesterday to stay in the hunt for the last semifinal berth while booting out the Lady Bulldogs in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

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Carlos pumped in 14 attack points and came through with six blocks while drawing solid backup from Isabel Molde, Katherine Bersola and Justine Dorog as the Lady Maroons hacked out the crucial victory that kept their season going in the opening conference of the country’s longest-running women’s volley league sponsored by Shakey’s.

Counting its win over Iriga last Monday, UP now has a 3-3 mark to tie idle Laoag at fourth while bundling out NU from a playoff for the last Final Four seat. NU, a pre-tournament favorite, closed out with a 3-4 card.

The Lady Maroons and the Power Smashers dispute the fourth and last semis berth tomorrow at 4 p.m. at the close of the single round robin elims of the tournament, backed by Mikasa and Accel, also at the Philsports Arena.

Carlos finished with 22 points while Molde fired 16 hits and Bersola and Dorog chipped in 14 markers apiece for the Diliman-based squad, which continued to buck the odds behind its young, gutsy crew of power-hitters.

Pocari Sweat and BaliPure, which are playing at presstime, and Air Force have clinched the first three semis spots.

The Lady Maroons produced 54 attack points, seven more than the Lady Bulldogs, who drew 19 hits from Jaja Santiago and 12 points apiece from Risa Sato and Jorelle Singh.

UP also cashed in on NU’s sloppy reception, scoring 13 aces with Dorog and Molde coming up with three apiece.

In the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Open Conference, Bounty Fresh hacked out a pulsating 20-25, 25-14, 17-25, 25-22, 19-17 decision over Navy in a duel of unbeaten teams.

Michael Bagalay fired 20 hits while Romnick Rico added 13 as Bounty Fresh rallied from 1-2 set down with a sweep of the last two sets, including the extended decider to snare the one hour-37 minute victory, its first after four losses.

The Sailors, led by Nur Amin Madsairi and Roldan Meino’s identical 15 points, fell to 0-5.

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