UNIVERSITY of Philippines recovered from a sluggish start to defeat La Salle-Dasmariñas, 23-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-22, on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the Spikers' Turf Collegaite Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
Wendel Miguel scored 19, including 17 on kills, skipper Alfred Gerard Valbuena had 15 points and Julius Evan Raymundo added 11 markers to power the Maroons to their third win in four outings.
UP took the win in an hour and 31 minutes, joining Ateneo (3-0) and La Salle (3-1) in the next round.
"We were a little sluggish in the first set but we made the necessary adjustments to get this win," said UP coach Melchor Santos.
Eddimar Kasim had a 20-hit game for the Patriots, who also drew 11 points from Aldin Bin but only got a combined 14-point output from Aidam Adam, Wilbert Sapida, Paul Castro and Daniel Benitez and suffered their fourth loss in as many matches.
The power-hitting Kasim put in the bulk of his hits in the first set when La Salle-Dasma stole the set from a slow-starting UP but failed to sustain his form in the face of the Maroons’ strong comeback in the next three sets.
NCAA champion Emilio Aguinaldo (4-0) and National University (4-0) have also booked spots in the next phase of the tournament presented by PLDT Home Ultera and backed by Mikasa.
The match between Mapua and University of the East, won by the Cardinals, will be shown starting at 3:30 p.m. on PTV 4. Games are aired on a delayed basis from Monday to Friday while Saturday telecast begins at 9:15 p.m.