UP turns back UB, shares second spot

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University of the Philippines (UP) bounced back strong from an opening set setback and peppered University of Batangas’ defense with a barrage of hits, scoring a 24-26, 25-19, 25-19, 25-20 victory and shoring up its quarterfinal drive in the Shakey’s V-League Season 12-Collegiate Conference at The Arena in San Juan City on Sunday.

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Adjusting to the Lady Brahmans’ style of play, the Lady Maroons rammed in kills on quick sets and combination plays behind playmaker Hannah Lai – spikes that either pierced through the UB blockers or landed on unguarded spots in the middle and back row.

The Lady Maroons finished with 68 attacks, nearly doubling their rivals’ 37-spike effort, and their one-hour, 28-minute victory kept them in step with the National University Lady Bulldogs and the Arellano Lady Chiefs at 2-1 in the race to the quarters in the mid-season offering of the league sponsored by Shakey’s and presented by PLDT Home Ultera.

Far Eastern University shows the way in Group A with a 3-0 mark, capped by its 25-16, 25-14, 25-14 demolition of Polytechnic University of the Philippines on Saturday.

“After we dropped the first set, coach (Jerry Yee) told us to relax. We were a bit tight and they (Lady Brahmans) were loading up their serves,” said Isabel Molde, who spearheaded the Lady Maroons’ fightback with a cluster of kills en route to a 21-hit game.

Justine Dorog, a product of the Shakey’s Girls Volley League, delivered 18 attacks while Marian Buitre added 10 and Maristela Layug chipped in six markers for the Diliman-based squad priming up for the University Athletic Association of the Philippines wars.

Cyren Montecer, Krissa Madalogdog and Kimberly Jamilla all fired 11 hits while Lalyn Garcia came through with nine points for the Lady Brahmans, who appeared headed for a big reversal with their strong showing in the first set.

But they failed to sustain their charge as the Lady Maroons stepped up their attack and started to impose their will on the net from the second frame on.

“We played more aggressive in the last three sets and that helped us a lot,” said Yee, who drew 33 excellent sets from Lai.

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