UP’s Marian Buitre (right) watches her spike roll over the net after being blocked by St. Benilde’s Chelsie Umali during their PVL Collegiate Conference clash at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.      JOEY MENDOZA

Lady Maroons stay in race for Final 4, repel Blazers
Kristina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - September 18, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — University of the Philippines foiled College of St. Benilde’s fightback in the third set as it tripped the Lady Blazers, 25-19, 25-13, 25-19, to bolster its Final Four drive in Group B of the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.

The Lady Maroons escaped a near meltdown at endgame, closing out with a 4-0 run capped by a match-clinching dump by playmaker Rose Cailing to hike their card to 2-1 for joint second heading to the homestretch of the single round elims of the season-ending conference organized by Sports Vision.

Skipper Diana Carlos top scored with 14 points for UP, teaming up with Marian Buitre in the first two sets before taking charge in the third where she helped the Lady Maroons pull away early en route to a 19-8 edge.

But the Lady Blazers pounced on the Lady Maroons’ unforced errors to threaten at 19-21. But the Diliman-based squad came out smoking from a huddle and took the last four points to complete the rout.

Buitre added 10 markers for the Lady Maroons while Cailing tossed in 24 excellent sets on top of her three-point output.

“Everyone feels good so we were able to execute our plays well. It’s all about our mindset. We just told each other to avoid complacency and stay focused,” said Carlos.

Later in the night, Arellano U whipped Technological Institute of the Philippines, 25-16, 25-15, 25-18, to likewise boost its semis bid in Group B with a 3-1 card.

Regine Arocha punched in 17 points, Andrea Marzan chalked up 13 while Jovielyn Prado added 11 markers for the Lady Chiefs who pounded the Lady Engineers from the attack line, 44-19, the service box, 9-2, and at the net, 7-3, to make up for their 25 errors, 10 more than TIP.

Rhea Ramirez also outplayed the entire Lady Engineers, tossing in all but three of Arellano’s 49 excellent sets while TIP only dished out 17.

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