On brink of elimination, Lady Maroons rue missed chance in crucial loss to Tigresses
MANILA, Philippines—University of the Philippines is on the brink of elimination in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament and its three-set loss to University of Santo Tomas was a tough to swallow.
The Golden Tigresses swept the Lady Maroons, 25-21, 25-12, 26-24, Wednesday when late game blunders were crucial in the outcome of the match.
UP got to the 24-22 set point in the third but got called with three straight errors that saw UST pull ahead, 25-24, lead just before Eya Laure denied Marian Buitre to give the Golden Tigresses the win and the 8-4 record.
Lady Maroons head coach Godfrey Okumu said his players were broken with how the game ended especially with how the referees seemed to, he said, dictate the finish of the match.
“I can see that my players were pretty much broken, some of the calls, the last minute calls, they were crucial calls,” said Okumu. “The players were down, it’s not an easy thing to happen to a team when the referee makes two of the last points in the game by whistling.”
The third set was tied at 24 when Jessma Ramos seemed to dump the ball back to UST’s side of the floor but the two referees convened on the late point and ruled that UP’s blocker committed an overreach.
“Today I felt some of calls were unfair, that’s how my team feels and how I feel as a coach.”
UP’s loss also stung more since both the Golden Tigresses and the Lady Maroons are gunning for a spot in the Final Four.
UST is tied with Far Eastern University at the third spot while UP is at fifth with a 6-6 card with a loss sending the Lady Maroons out of the Final Four race.
Okumu rued the missed chance to at least tie the Golden Tigresses at the fourth seed.
“Today was the biggest moment that we should’ve seized comfortably but like what the others said, it’s not over until it’s over so we know what’s at stake,” said Okumu. “We’re going to work for it and we’re going to produce the result.”