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Lady Maroons outplay Tigresses, nab inaugural PSL collegiate plum

Franchesca Nicole Collantes/Dugout Philippines
By Ricky Manliguis

MANILA -- Don't look now, but University of the Philippines is now on the rise.

The Lady Maroons added another title to its trophy case as it registered a 25-21, 16-25, 25-23, 25-19 win over University of Santo Tomas to bag the inaugural PSL Collegiate Grand Slam title Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

With tournament MVP Tots Carlos leading the charge, the Katipunan-based spikers denied the Tigresses a tournament sweep for its second straight collegiate title after its successful campaign in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).

But more than the title, the team dedicated its victory to its long-time benefactor Dominic Sytin of United Auctioneers Inc., who died in a shooting incident last November.

UP had to rally from a 2-8 deficit in the fourth set with a 13-2 salvo for a 15-10 advantage. The team even came at match point, 24-19, before Marist Layug fired the winning hit to end the one hour, 50 minute encounter.

Carlos made up for lost time as she unloaded 17 points on 15 attacks, while rookie Nicole Magsarile added 11 for UP, which also got 10 points from Layug.

Libero Mirgie Bautista had 19 digs and seven receptions, even as setter Arielle EstraƱero had a hand on 17 of the team's 23 excellent sets.

Eya Laure and Milena Alessandrini cashed in 14 and 13 points, respectively, as UST saw its skipper Tin Francisco leave the game in the fourth set with an apparent dislocation of her right patellar.
Franchesca Nicole Collantes/Dugout Philippines
In an earlier match-up, University of the East made mincemeat of Far Eastern University, 27-25, 25-23, 25-16, to salvage third place.

Me-Ann Mendrez topscored for the Lady Warriors with 16 points built on 15 attacks plus 10 digs, while Judith Abil chipped in 12.

Best Libero awardee Kath Arado had 16 digs for UE.

Lycha Ebon led the rookie-laden Lady Tamaraws with 10 markers.

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