UAAP: Green Spikers sweep UP, bring UAAP 85 record to 6-5

The DLSU Green Spikers trumped the UP Fighting Maroons in straight sets, 25-21, 25-18, 25-18, earlier tonight, April 16, at the PhilSports Arena to secure their sixth win of the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Volleyball tournament.

In the win, Green Spikers skipper Vince Maglinao led the charge with 17 points from 13 attacks and four blocks, picking up the Player of the Game distinction. Supporting him in the victory was ace spiker Noel Kampton, who scored 16 points on 15 attacks and one block.

For the Fighting Maroons, Erl Eusebio registered 12 points, while Jaivee Malabanan tallied eight.

Coming back 

UP managed to seize control of the match early, going into the first technical timeout of the set up, 8-5, after a series of quick attacks. Kampton carved out back-to-back points, with the second being an emphatic solo kill block, before skipper Maglinao unleashed a block of his own to tie up the score, 10-all.

UP managed to pull away again, bringing their advantage to three at 13-10. However, Ronquillo and Maglinao powered the Green and White back into contention before Kampton tied the scoreline at 15-all with a stinging cross-court hit.

Despite UP going into the second technical timeout ahead, Nat Del Pilar managed to take the lead for DLSU after finishing off a quick attack, 18-17. Looking to finally seize control of the set for his side, Kampton unloaded consecutive points to finally give La Salle some breathing room, 21-17. The Fighting Maroons attempted to fight back but fell short, as Maglinao rose up for a block to take the opening frame, 25-21.

Riding the wind

The two sides exchanged blows to open the second set, but it was the Green and White that managed to pull away first, 8-5, after Josh Rodriguez, who filled in the starting lineup in place of Billie Anima, and scored two straight points. However, the team from Diliman refused to go down without a fight. After a four-point setback at 10-6, UP Head Coach Ricafort Rald called a timeout.

La Salle went up by as much as six, 14-8, but quickly saw their advantage dwindle. With team captain Gamban at the service line, UP slowly started to regain their footing, eventually cutting down the La Salle advantage to just one, 15-14. With his side shaking in their boots, DLSU Head Coach Arnold Laniog used his first timeout of the set, effectively icing UP, as a service error allowed La Salle to enter the technical timeout with the lead, 16-15. 

Rodriguez continued to produce from the bench, with his serving causing problems for the UP defense. This led to the scoreline reading 19-16 in favor of DLSU after two hits by Kampton created separation for his side. La Salle did not halt their momentum, going up by seven, 23-16, before Rodriguez ended his serving stint with a service error. UP was unable to regain lost ground, committing two errors that saw La Salle take the second set, 25-18.

Closing up shop

Both sides exchanged errors, but the team from Taft managed to hold onto their advantage, 8-5, going into the first technical timeout of the third set. DLSU continued to charge forward, with Ronquillo’s hit proving to be too much for the UP defense, bringing his side’s lead to five at 13-8.

The Green and White train could not be stopped, as Von Marata converted a backrow attack to send the Green Spikers to the second technical timeout of the set with a seven-point advantage, 16-9.

However, UP and DLSU went even in the remainder of the set as the latter featured error-riddled play, but the damage had already been done. The team from Taft notched the third set, 25-18, to pick up their sixth win of the season.

After another standout performance, Maglinao was happy that his side was able to translate what they had been practicing into their games. “Sobrang happy kami [sa result] namin today,” the veteran shares, but he knows that they are far from done. Knowing there are still games to be played, he furthers, “Siguro sa remaining games namin, doblehin lang namin yung preparation.

(So for our remaining games, we’ll just need to double our preparation.)

The rest of the Green Spikers’ schedule features teams that the side had previously beaten in the first round of the tournament. Despite this fact, Coach Laniog shares that his side will not become complacent. “It depends kung gaano natin gusto ‘yung panalo. ‘Yung end goal natin is to make it to the Final Four,” he asserts.

(It depends how much we want each win…)

Sitting just within the Final Four picture, the Green Spikers will look to secure another win against the AdU Soaring Falcons, whom they previously thrashed in Round One, on Wednesday, April 19, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Scores:

DLSU 3 – Maglinao 17, Kampton 16, Rodriguez 7, Ronquillo 6, Sumalinog 4, Del Pilar 2, Serrano 1

UP 0 – Cajolo 12, Malabanan 8, Gamban 6, Lipata 5, Rubin 2, Santiago 2, Lagando 2, Ijiran 1
Set Scores: 25-21, 25-18, 25-18

Diego Manzano

By Diego Manzano

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