Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel
The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Spikers edged the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons in a five-set thriller, 25-21, 25-21, 15-25, 23-25, 15-11, to end their season on a positive note earlier today at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
With both teams out of Final Four contention, It was a no-bearing game but they made sure to end this season with a bang.
On his last game representing the Green and White, team captain Cris Dumago led the way with a whopping 23 points off 18 attacks, three service aces, and two kill blocks.
It was a chess match, no team wanting to concede a two-point lead, until a smart placement hit by Wayne Marco put La Salle ahead by two, 13-11, which was then pushed further to five, 16-11, courtesy of a kill by Kieffer Reyes heading into the second technical timeout. The Taft-based squad maintained at least a four-point margin throughout the remainder of the set, before a Reyes c-quick handed La Salle the 1-0 set advantage.
The Green Spikers immediately jumped to a 4-1 lead following a crosscourt cut shot by rookie Bill Anima. The UP squad were still in step until a service ace by Dumago extended La Salle’s lead by five, 14-9. The Fighting Maroons attempted to rally some points, almost succeeding at some point, cutting the deficit to two, 14-16, following an attacking error by Geraint Bacon. However, the Green and White proved too strong for UP, immediately finishing the set, 25-21.
The Fighting Maroons refused to wave the white flag as the Green Spikers struggled to find their groove, committing errors after another, ending the lopsided third set with 11 miscues.
Once again, it was nip-and-tuck affair in the beginning of the fourth frame before the Taft-based squad started to pull away 11-6 following a Jerry San Pedro error. La Salle was still leading 16-12 in the second technical timeout, but Gian De Jesus’ service error after proved too costly as it initiated a 5-1 run by UP to tie the set at 17. No team wanted to concede the set, but it was a hammer by Consuelo off a free ball that sent the match to an extension.
Contrary to previous sets, UP got the upper hand in the beginning of the deciding set, 3-0, after a kill block on Dumago’s hit. However, Delos Reyes showed composure and refused to give the game up, scoring La Salle’s first three points to bring them in step, 3-4. Once again, The Maroons attempted to step on the gas pedal, pushing their lead to three, 6-3 following a Ruskin Ijiran soft hit. However, the Green and White got back to their senses and avoided a collapse to claim the game, 15-11.
Following Dumago’s stellar performance, Anima contributed 22 markers while Reyes chipped in 18. Setter Marco also tallied 32 excellent sets for the winning side.
Meanwhile, Millete scored 23, while graduating seniors Gian San Pascual and San Pedro had 16 and 14, respectively. Jerahmeel Baldelovar also showcased spectacular setting, tallying 33 for his team.
The Green Spikers finish the tourney at sixth place with a win-lose record of 5-9.