UAAP volleyball: UP gets breakthrough win, beats slumping UE

UAAP volleyball: UP gets breakthrough win, beats slumping UE

UP Fighting Maroons UAAP Season 86

UP Fighting Maroons celebrate their first win in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.-MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–University of the Philippines ended a 17-game losing streak in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament after a 25-21, 25-20, 20-25, 25-17 victory over University of the East Saturday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Steph Bustrillo carried the Fighting Maroons with 24 points built around 22 attacks and two aces while Pling Baclay, stepping up for teammate Niña Ytang, guarded the net with a season-high seven blocks for UP’s first win in seven games in Season 86.

“I like to thank my players for trusting the system and the process,” said UP coach Oliver Almadro, who was visibly ecstatic during the postgame interview for the winning team.

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“We know it’s really hard to win right now in the UAAP, napaka-taas ng level ng UAAP. But they did not stop working hard,” Almadro added.

Irah Jaboneta scattered 12 points while Joan Moñares had the same outing from eight attacks, a block and three aces. Danica Celis and Baclay each had 10 points.

The Maroons drew extra motivation in their final game of the first round and dedicated the victory to Carmen Ytang, Niña’s mother, and UP Sports Psychologist Mona Adviento, who both passed away this week.

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“Wala si Niña ngayon pero we share this win with her. Napakasarap na manalo. Mahirap manalo and wearing the maroon shirt, winning for the Maroons, really means a lot,” Almadro said in his first win as UP coach.

“First of all gusto ko po magpasalamat sa supporters naming, gusto kong malaman nila na ginawa namin yung best namin para manalo,” Bustrillo said.

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UP’s much better play was evident after producing a 56-51 edge on spikes, 13-7 advantage on blocks and a 10-2 gap in aces.

The Fighting Maroons established a 15-9 cushion in the final frame after a third set hiccup before Bustrillo, Celis and Moñares lifted UP closer to the win at 20-15.

Moñares added three consecutive attacks before Bustrillo’s service ace ended the winning drought for UP.

The loss put to waste Casiey Dongallo’s 26 points, her best outing after a string of low-scoring performances, and Kayce Balingit’s 14 as UE dropped to 1-6 for the eighth spot.

“Sa game ngayon, una palang kita na talaga sa team namin na gustong gusto namin manalo, na gusto naming i-end yung first round ng may panalo going to the second round,” Bustrillo said.

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“Ino-offer namin ‘tong game na to for ma’am Mona and Niña na wala dito ngayon. Gusto namin sila maging proud sa amin. Pinakita namin sa game ngayon more communication and mental toughness na medyo kinukulang minsan,” she added.

UP will look to continue its newfound momentum against National University, who is coming off a loss to defending champion La Salle, on Wednesday at the same venue.

TAGS: UAAP, UP Fighting Maroons

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