UNIVERSITY of the Philippines (UP) bucked a cold start to repel upset-conscious University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, 10-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-15, 15-10, Sunday in the Shakey’s Super League Collegiate Pre-season Championship at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
Alyssa Bertolano and Lainne Arce played the heroes’ role for the Fighting Maroons in the fifth set to snap the Lady Altas’ two-game winning run and start their campaign in Pool A on a high note.
Trailing 1-2 in the match, Bertolano and Arce fueled UP’s revolt in the fourth set to create a comfortable cushion and build momentum heading into the deciding frame.
“I told them to forget everything that happened in the first four sets, execute our game plan, and not commit the mistakes we did in the previous sets. Good thing they responded positively,” said newly-appointed Fighting Maroons coach Shaq Delos Santos.
In the second game, Adamson University bounced back mightily from an opening day loss as the Lady Falcons vented their ire on hapless San Sebastian College, 25-10, 25-14, 25-18, in Pool B.
Adamson capitalized on its height advantage and power to easily demolish the Lady Stags and rebound from a five-set loss at the hands of unbeaten University of Sto. Tomas last week.
San Sebastian dropped its second straight match in as many games following another straight sets loss to the Tigresses on Saturday.
Back-to-back aces from Bertolano gave UP a 4-1 lead to start the fifth set before the Lady Altas rallied to tie it at 7. The Fighting Maroons answered with a 6-2 counter sparked by a Bertolano hit.
Rookie Shaila Omipon stopped the bleeding for Perpetual but Arce delivered the finishing blows by hammering down a quick attack followed by a game-winning ace.
Arce had 14 point while Bertolano scored 10 for UP. Marianne Sotomil got 18 markers for the Fighting Maroons and Kamille Cal got 12.
Perpetual, which slid to a 2-1 win-loss record, got 15 points from Omipon and 14 markers from Winnie Bedana.
Meanwhile, crowd darlings De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University debuted on a winning note after hurdling their respective foes in contrasting fashion on Saturday.
The Lady Spikers outlasted Far Eastern University in a fierce five-set encounter, 25-13, 19-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-8, in Pool D while the Blue Eagles had some trouble in the second set before carving out a 25-14, 30-28, 25-17, victory over Arellano University in Pool C.
De La Salle’s veterans delivered the much-needed points when it mattered the most to turn back the Lady Tamaraws and complete a comeback from a 1-2 match deficit.
The Lady Spikers raced to an 8-5 lead in the fifth set and opened the gap to 14-8 as Alleiah Malaluan closed out the match with a sharp crosscourt hit.
Seasoned players Marionne Alba and Fifi Sharma got 18 and 15 points for the Taft-based squad, respectively, while Baby Jyne Soreno and Jolina Dela Cruz finished with 14 markers each.
Malaluan scored 13 points all off kills while Thea Gagate had 12 markers for La Salle.
Christine Ubaldo saw her 16 points go to waste as FEU fell to a 1-1 slate.
Ateneo fought back from a 20-23 deficit to outplay the Lady Chiefs in the extended second set before cruising in the third frame.
Makana Kowalski made a resounding introduction with a 16-point output while Vannie Gandler and Takako Fujimoto registered 11 points each for the Blue Eagles.