UP Lady Maroons snap skid with four-set victory over Laoag Power Smashers
Isa Molde and the UP Lady Maroons get back on track with a convincing win over Laoag. Dante Peralta

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines finally found its rhythm and turned back Laoag, 25-20, 27-25, 11-25, 25-20, to snap a two-game losing skid in the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City on Monday.

Nicole Tiamzon and Marian Buitre took the scoring load for UP as they each had 15 and 13 points, respectively.

Tiamzon anchored her offense on 13 kills, while Buitre scattered her points from eight attacks, four blocks and one service ace for the Lady Maroons.

UP coach Jerry Yee did not sugarcoat that his team had been through a rough week when they absorbed back-to-back losses.

“Talking kami ng team, meaning we have been discussing kung ano ang mga struggles namin,” Yee revealed. “Pinag-uusapan namin na hindi naman sinabing bawal kang magkamali, kasi kung hindi ka magkakamali hindi ka naman matututo. So we are trying to explain na ‘wag masyado i-pressure ang sarili.”

“Honestly, yes, we had three different talks discussing some issues,” he added. “So meron tayong mga iki-clear out syempre pero parang positive naman. This game is an indicator so thankful kami na nakuha namin (ang panalo).”

Second year setter Rose Mary Cailing, filling in for injured Mae Basarte, made 42 of the team’s 44 excellent sets in the match that took an hour and 37 minutes to finish.

Yee, however, looks on the positive side of his young team’s situation after losing in straight sets to University of Santo Tomas and Pocari Sweat.

“Obvious naman na hindi pa kami pino noong setter, hindi pa magandang maganda ‘yung connection ng players natin with the new setter so ‘yun talaga,” he said.

“Before kasi ‘yun nga kapag nagkamali ka, parang naiinis na tayo sa sarili natin or naiinis na tayo sa teammates natin but then that’s part of it, part of growth ‘yan eh,” he added. “Buti ngayon pinagdadaanan na namin and then hopefully may time pa kami matuto.”

Sheene Mae Chopitea and Isa Molde each had nine markers for UP.

Grethcel Soltones led the way for Laoag with 18 points, while Aiko Urdas and Wenneth Eulalio chipped in 12 and 10 markers, respectively. The Power Smashers dropped to 2-2. 

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