How Paul Desiderio inspired UP Lady Maroons in upset of UST

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2018 06:24 PM | Updated as of Oct 18 2018 03:06 PM

The UP Lady Maroons celebrate after beating the UST Golden Tigresses. Josh Albelda, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Paul Desiderio's famous "Atin 'to, papasok 'to" war cry has made its way to UAAP women's volleyball.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons channeled Desiderio's motto on Wednesday, when they took on University of Santo Tomas (UST) in a crucial Season 80 contest at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The Lady Maroons were already down a set, having failed to complete a comeback in Set 1, with UST taking the opener in exhausting fashion, 33-31. They had already squandered two set points in the second frame, and the Golden Tigresses were breathing down their necks, 24-23.

Coach Godfrey Okumu called a timeout, reminding the Lady Maroons of what they need to do. As they re-entered the game, a player cried out: "Atin 'to!"

"Si Marian (Buitre) ata 'yun," UP skipper Tots Carlos said after the game.

Whoever it was, the motivational attempt worked. In the next rally, UP veteran Ayel Estrañero came up with a huge block on UST's Carla Sandoval to seal the Set 2 win for the Lady Maroons.

With the momentum on their side, UP went on to win in four sets, 31-33, 25-23, 25-16, 25-12. It was only their second win of Season 80 against four losses.

"Siyempre, napanood naman natin si Paul Desiderio," said Carlos, who scored a career-high 32 points in the victory. "Buong puso niyang binigay kung anong meron siya. 'Yun 'yung gusto ng teammates namin."

"'Yun ang gusto din namin," chimed in Isa Molde, who contributed 24 points of her own.

UP hopes to carry the momentum of this win on Sunday, when they take on the league-leading National University Lady Bulldogs.

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