BIÑAN CITY — University of the Philippines needed to overcome a shocking second-set defeat before avoiding the upset axe of hard-fighting Colegio San Agustin-Biñan, 25-6, 21-25, 25-16, 25-22, and earned its second straight win in the 2018 Philippine Superliga Collegiate Grand Slam on Saturday at the Alonte Sports Center here.
After a fiery 25-6 first set blowout, the Lady Maroons blew their huge momentum with a shocking second frame upset of the Eagles, who were inspired by their good home crowd, before UP caught fire in the next two sets and survived the unexpected one hour and 32-minute encounter.
Rookie Nicole Magsarile led the collective effort finishing with 15 points off 12 attacks and three service aces. Justine Dorog delivered 14 points, while middle blockers Aie Gannaban and Marist Layug chipped in 11 and 10 hits, respectively. Tots Carlos was also instrumental with nine points including 10 digs as well as Marianne Sotomil, who made 34 excellent sets on top of six markers.
Despite getting their second straight win for the solo lead before facing UAAP rival Far Eastern University on November 24 at Caloocan Sports Complex, UP head coach praised CSA-Biñan for putting up a gallant fight.
“They (CSA) played good volleyball. We cannot say that they're a bad team, they're a good team. Like with every other team, we have to watch out,” said Okumu, whose team committed 30 errors in the game. “They wanted to win more than us. We thought the game was going to be easy. But, it's good for our player to learn to take pressure from every game they play.”
Limited to only six points in the first set, the Eagles shocked the Lady Maroons in the second frame with 20-13 start before the latter scored seven of the next nine points to cut the lead down to just two, 22-20.
Erika Rivera stopped the bleeding with a hit before Dorog committed an attack error that sent CSA-Biñan at set point, 24-20. But Dorog made up for her mistake with a successful hit only for Lency Duarte to seal the Eagles’ maiden set win in the PSL with a kill off the block.
The Lady Maroons got their acts together in the third set and convincingly took the 2-1 set lead but the Eagles didn’t go down without a fight trimming UP’s 21-17 fourth set cushion to a one-point lead. But Layug and Magsarile provided the crucial blows to reach match point, 24-21, before Gannaban delivered the game-winning quick attack.
Aliah Marce and Duarte carried the cudgels of CSA-Biñan finishing with 13 and 10 points, respectively, only for the Eagles to suffer their second straight loss.
CSA-Biñan will take a long break before facing De La Salle-Dasmariñas (0-1) next on December 1 also in Caloocan City.