UP spikers bounce back, rip Lady Warriors

ISA Molde came through with a career-high 24 points while Tots Carlos chipped in 15 points as University of the Philippines earned its first win of the season at the expense of University of the East 25-23, 25-20, 18-25, 25-17, in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament yesterday.

The Fighting Maroons tallied 12 blocks, with Molde accounting for four, to prevail in the two hours and eight minutes as games are getting longer due to the challenge system that the league has implemented starting this season.

“We are happy about the win. The players fought and it’s a good feeling as opposed to the first game we played. Today, we are happy for the win,” said coach Godfrey Okumu after UP rebounded from last Wednesday’s season-opening loss to Ateneo.

Molde and Carlos hope to end their collegiate careers on a high note by giving the Maroons their first Final Four berth since 2016, when the two were promising rookies.

The Diliman-based spikers stepped up their game after a disappointing 13-25, 17-25, 23-25 defeat from the hands of the Lady Eagles.

“Actually ni-remind kami ni coach na it’s wake up call for us,” said Molde.

Mean Mendrez scored 21 points, including two service aces, and collected 10 digs while rookie Ja Lana contributed 17 points and nine receptions for the Lady Warriors, who dropped to 0-2.

In men’s play, sophomore Lloyd Josafat had a career-high 32 points as UE sent UP crashing with a 25-11, 23-25, 25-20, 28-26 victory.

Chum Njigha produced 20 points, including two blocks as Ateneo entered the win column with a 25-20, 25-19, 27-25 decision over La Salle.

The Blue Eagles moved in a tie with the Fighting Maroons and the Red Warriors at 1-1.

“Just happy that everyone performed well today. So coming from a tough loss against UP, I was very happy that my players stood up to the call na kailangan makabawi this game,” said Ateneo coach Timmy Sto. Tomas.

Coach Jerome Guhit praised his wards composure and hunger for victory after UE posted the breakthrough win.

“This game nakaka-proud sila kasi ‘yung trinaining namin, lumalabas na. Tsaka tingin ko naman talagang gutom na gutom sila sa panalo eh,” said Guhit, who took over last October.

Rookie John Andaya contributed 15 points, while fellow newcomer Kenneth Culabat added 14 markers, 16 digs and 20 receptions for the Warriors.

John Lomibao’s 18-point outing go down the drain as the Maroons failed to follow up their season-opening straight set romp of the Blue Eagles. Mac Millete and Louis Gamban had 12 and 11 points, respectively.

JM Ronquillo dropped 11 kills for the Green Spikers, who were poised to extend the match after leading 25-24 in the third set but could not close it out in the end.