UNIVERSITY of the Philippines recovered from a set down and turned back Adamson, 22-25, 25-21, 29-27, 34-32, in a huge win that came with a stiff prize for the Lady Maroons in Wednesday’s UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Team captain Nicole Tiamzon slammed home 22 points for the fired-up Lady Maroons, who lost ace blocker Kathy Bersola to injury.
Bersola finished with 13 points before going out for good, while Amgeli Araneta had 12 and Arianne Ilustre and Vina Alinas added 11 and 10, respectively.
Bersola, the reigning shot blocker, was rushed to the hospital shortly after the game.
According to UP coach Gerry Yee, initial finding on the UP stalwart was a possible ACL injury on her left knee.
Nonetheless, the bad news didn’t hamper the Lady Maroons’ from celebrating the win which took them two hours and 14 minutes to complete and came shortly after the team suffered a heartbreaking 18-25, 25-22, 20-25, 25-15, 11-15, loss to defending champion Ateneo last Sunday.
With its 3-4 (win-loss) slate to finish the first round, UP currently occupies solo sixth spot.
Adamson meanwhile, fell to an even 3-3 card in a tie with Far Eastern University and National University behind league leaders La Salle (6-0) and Ateneo (5-0).
“It’s paying off ‘yung pagti-tyaga namin sa practice,” admitted Yee.
“Worried lang kami na baka hindi namin mapantayan ‘yung intensity against the Ateneo game. Good thing nakuha namin ito kasi if we lose one player and that is Kathy (Bersola) mabigat ‘yun para sa amin,” he added.
From a tight 26-all contest in the fourth set, UP saved four Adamson set points with Araneta and Tiamzon exchanging attacks with Jessica Galanza, Mylene Paat, and Amanda Villanueva as the Lady Falcons got the better of it, 32-31.
But Villanueva committed two consecutive untimely errors to hand UP the driver’s seat, 33-32, before Chester Ong came through to seal the win for the Diliman-based school.
“I’m trying to instill sa mga players that the way we practice is the same way we are supposed to play on the game. Good thing that the girls are responding,” said Yee.
“We just want to show that we can play consistent and high level volleyball,” he added.
Galanza had a carrier-high 24 points, but her efforts went down the drain in a losing cause for the Lady Falcons.
Mary Dacoron and Villanueva added 19 and 15 markers, respectively.