University of the Philippines built momentum heading into the second round with a rout of Mapua University, 25-19, 25-21, 25-11, to complete a sweep of Pool A in the Shakey’s Super League Collegiate Pre-season Championship at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum on Saturday.
The Fighting Maroons made quick work of the also-ran Lady Cardinals to close the group stage with a perfect 4-0 win-loss record.
After a tight second set, the Diliman-based squad found its rhythm early in the third frame to open a 20-6 gap that took the fight out of Mapua.
“This win gave us good momentum heading into the second round. We still have a lot of work to do. The second round is a different story so we must prepare for that,” said UP coach Shaq Delos Santos.
Despite the lopsided win Delos Santos rued the Fighting Maroons’ 27 errors. Most of their miscues came in the second set.
“We can’t give away that many points off our errors. We’re going up against well-disciplined teams in the second round, we can’t afford to make those mistakes,” he said.
Jewel Encarnacion led UP with 13 points with 11 coming off spikes while Dannica Celis and Joan Monares delivered nine points each.
UP is joined by the University of Perpetual Help in the next round where they will be bracketed in Pool E alongside Pool C qualifiers unbeaten reigning UAAP champion National University and Ateneo de Manila University. The top two squads in Pool B and Pool D will compose Pool F.
In the second round, teams will play another round-robin against the squads they have not faced in the first round to determine their rankings in the knockout quarterfinals.
The second round will begin next week.
The Fighting Maroons pulled through in the error-filled second set with a late uprising to complete a comeback from a four-point deficit.
UP scattered five straight points capped by a Stephanie Bustrillo hit to turn a 15-19 deficit into a 20-19 advantage. Bustrillo broke a 20-20 deadlock with a sharp hit that sliced through Mapua’s block to spark the closing 5-1 blast.
The Lady Cardinals closed their Pool A campaign with a 1-3 card and will join the other teams who did not qualify for the second phase of pool play in the classification round starting Sunday.
Therese Manalo got six points while Alyana Ong and Roxie Dela Cruz added five markers each for Mapua.