UP’s stellar start enough to fend off UST

By Emy Manipol

SAN JUAN, MM--With the race towards the final four spots becoming tighter, the showdown between the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons and University of Sto Tomas Golden Trigresses proved to be crucial as both squads were in equal footing in the standings entering Sunday.

UP, however, got the upper hand after downing UST in 4 sets, 25-19, 25-18, 15-25, 32-30, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Maroons were off to a good start that caught the Tigresses by surprise, dominating them in the first two sets.

The low level of play from UST pushed Coach Kung Fu Reyes to rely on his bench to get the right player combination on the court.

UST clawed its way back in the third set wherein the team pounced on UP’s lost of concentration. Cherry Rondina and EJ Laure launched UST's fightback in Set 3.

The fourth set proved to be a nail-biter as both squads refused to lose. Both teams exchanged points and even errors to extend the set to 30-all before Marian Buitre made a go-ahead block against Rondina.

Cebuana rookie Diana Carlos registered a team-high 16 points while getting support from veteran Nicole Tiamzon who ended the game with 14 markers.

Laure and Rondina both scored 20 points but their efforts were still futile due to UP’s strong floor defense.

Follow her on Twitter: @emymanipol