Playing its heart out against an equally formidable foe, University of the Philippines (UP) on Tuesday streaked to its finest start in five years in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament after clipping University of Santo Tomas (UST) in a thriller, 25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22, at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
Jewel Encarnacion scored 16 points built on 13 attacks and the Lady Maroons didn’t budge an inch even with Eya Laure scoring almost at will for Santo Tomas as UP rose to 3-0, something which hasn’t happened since Season 79.
“They played their hearts out. We had a plan and our plan worked which I cannot share with you at this moment,” said UP head coach Godfrey Okumu. “It was not an easy game. UST is a very, very strong team, they are very experienced, and they have a good coaching staff who would know how to read a game.
“We really worked hard for this and I hope the girls will continue fighting the same way,” he added.
Laure scored 28 points but the Golden Tigresses succumbed to their first loss in three games after no one else scored in twin digits.
Meanwhile, Far Eastern (FEU) notched its first win after closing out with a 10-2 spurt for a 19-25, 25-15, 25-20, 17-25, 15-10 victory over University of the East.
Trailing 8-5 in the final set, Chen Tagaod fired four points in an 8-0 run to give FEU a 13-8 cushion the Lady Red Warriors never had a chance of overhauling.
“My players helped each other out,” said Far Eastern coach George Pascua in Filipino. “They know that things will be tough for us, being on the transition period.” INQ
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