By Nikole Javier
University of the East kicked off its Shakey’s Super League (SSL) Collegiate Pre-season Championship campaign with a thrilling 31-33, 25-20, 25-23, 21-25, 15-12 win against Mapua on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.
Despite falling short in the opening set and being tied for most of the game, the Lady Warriors unloaded a timely 7-2 run midway through the fifth set to pull away for good.
KC Cepada finished with 21 points for UE with Lia Pelaga and Von Dimacungalan providing reinforcements with 15 and 11 markers, respectively.
UE head coach Ronwald Dimacungalan noted that his team had a rough opening set, the reason why they had a hard time dealing with the Lady Cardinals.
“We had a shaky start and we were not playing our usual game. We allowed ourselves to play on Mapua’s pace instead of us dictating the tempo,” said Dimaculangan.
UE was the first to break out of the 7-7 deadlock in the final set and reach the match point at 14-9.
Mapua, however, saved three match points with Hannah De Guzman on the service line, who tallied an ace before sending the next service straight to the net that gave UE its first win.
“It was an ugly win but at least I saw in them the resiliency to get bounce back. From here we’ll try to address our mistakes,” Dimaculangan continued.
Mapua took advantage of UE’s faulty reception in the first frame, leading by as much as six, 20-14 before finding themselves in a see-saw battle and tied at 27-all. De Guzman, who recorded 10 points for the Lady Cardinals secured the opening set with two consecutive points.
Now moving within rhythm, UE wasted no time in the next two sets only to fall short at the fourth against the gutsy Mapua.
Alyanna Ong and Nadine Berces paced the Cardinals and combined 14 points.
Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph