UST celebrates after scoring a point against UP. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigresses kept their flickering Final Four hopes alive after beating the University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons in just three sets Sunday at The Arena in San Juan.
In their second round encounter of the UAAP Season 76 women’s volleyball tournament, the Tigresses fought off the Lady Maroons in the first two sets before cruising in the third, 25-23, 25-20 and 25-15.
It was only UST’s fourth win of the season against six losses.
Pam Lastimosa led the way for the Tigresses, scoring 18 points on 12 attacks, four blocks and two service aces.
UST led by as much as six points in the opening set before UP clawed its way back into the set late, coming as close as one point, 22-23, following consecutive attacking errors by Carmela Tunay.
A miscommunication on reception by UP allowed UST to reach set point, before Gem Gutierrez committed a service error that kept the window open for the Lady Maroons. Tunay made up for her error quickly, however, firing a crosscourt hit that sealed the opening set in UST’s favor.
UP kept in step with UST early in the second set, but the Tigresses were able to pull away from a 13-all deadlock thanks to Lastimosa and Ria Meneses, who took advantage of UP’s slow net defense to fire several quick hits.
Although Alyssa Layug and Kathy Bersola got two offensive blocks late, the Tigresses found their rhythm on offense as Gutierrez, De Leon and Tunay repeatedly beat the UP blockers to clinch the win.
The third set was a UST clinic as the Lady Maroons succumbed to a variety of errors both on offense and defense.
“Ang sabi lang ni Coach, maging mas aggressive kami sa blocking at sa depensa,” Lastimosa said when asked about their third set rout. “At sabi niya, mag-enjoy lang sa game.”
UP lost for the ninth time in 10 outings this season, with their lone win coming against the woeful University of the East in the first round.