If their first round match-up was historic, the second round meeting between the Lady Spikers and Lady Maroons was more routine.
After the University of the Philippines had ended their more-than-a-decade dry spell over the De La Salle University last February 16, the defending chamions showed impeccable form to smash the Lady Maroons, 27-25, 25-11, 25-17, for their eight win at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Lady Spikers repaid their first round, straight-set loss with a convincing sweep of their own. The first set was the most interesting point of the match, with UP coming back from a 3-9 deficit to force a 12-all tie. The set dragged into a 21-all knot, before La Salle fired in the next two points for a 23-21 lead. A Kim Fajardo service error preceded back-to-back UP smashes that buoyed UP to set point, 24-23. But La Salle averted disaster, forcing a deuce and fighting off another UP set point advantage. La Salle took the set in a blur, getting a Marian Buitre attack error then a Desiree Cheng block to seal the set.
From there, the Lady Spikers deflated the Lady Maroons with tactical serving and blocking. Majoy Baron was unstoppable, keying the clinching runs in the second and third set with her float serves. The Lady Spikers amassed 11 aces to the Lady Maroons’ one.
“Nagulat lang sila sa galaw ng UP noong first round — sa bilis ng UP, sa pagikot-ikot nila. Ngayon, sinabi sa kanila na huwag nila pansinin ‘yun ngayon. Thankfully, nakasunod kami at nilaro namin ‘yung laro namin,” said La Salle assistant coach Noel Orcullo.
UP’s first-round win over La Salle had signaled a glorious winning streak. This loss further, however, sent the Katipunan-based spikers down a spiral.
Baron finished with 16 points off seven attacks, three blocks, and six aces to lead four Lady Spikers, who tallied double-digit scoring outputs.
La Salle maintain hold of the second seed and a twice-to-beat advantage with an 8-2 record. They face the skidding University of the East Lady Warriors (1-9) on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Sophomores Isa Molde and Tots Carlos again led the Lady Maroons with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
UP falls to a tie for fifth with the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws with a 5-5 slate. They get a chance to bounce back on Wednesday against the Adamson University Lady Falcons (0-10).
DLSU (3) – Baron 16, Cheng 11, Dy 11, Tiamzon 11, Fajardo 6, Ogunsanya 2, Layug 1, Cobb 0, Saga 0, Macandili (L)
UP (0) – Molde 12, Carlos 11, Buitre 6, Bersola 3, Tiamzon 2, Estrañero 1, Basarte 0, Cailing 0, Gannaban 0, Dorog (L)