If their first game is any indication, then University of the Philippines much-ballyhooed batch of rookies showed they’re up to the hype.
Freshmen Diana Carlos, Justine Dorog and Isa Molde teamed up to help the Lady Maroons dismantle University of the East, 25-20, 25-13, 25-21, in the opening match of the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at the jampacked FilOil Flying V Arena.
Coach Jerry Yee dug deep into his bench, playing all but one of his spikers in the rout that set off their bid to return to the Final Four after a long absence.
Dorog and Carlos, along with veteran Nicole Tiamzon, finished with 9 points apiece while Marian Buitre and Kathy Bersola each scored 7, as UP overwhelmed a revamped Lady Warriors side.
The Lady Maroons fired 38 attacks and 9 service aces against UE’s lackluster defense, with sophomore setter Jewel Lai orchestrating their offense with 27 sets.
Shaya Adorador and Judith Abil top scored for the Lady Warriors with 7 and 5 points, respectively, but the Recto spikers didn’t help themselves by committing 24 unforced errors.
Up next for UP, who drew 5 points and 7 digs from Molde, will be a tough test against powerhouse La Salle next Saturday at the Philsports Arena.
Meanwhile, UE battles Far Eastern University on February 7 in San Juan.
By Josiah Albelda