Photo by Reiven Pascasio

Text by Luisa Morales

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons starts their season with a bang.

Making quick work of the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors, UP clinched a win in its season opener in straight sets (25-22, 25-15, 25-13) at the Mall of Asia Arena, Sunday.

The Diliman squad gifted their new head coach Hans Chuacuco his first victory in a spectacular fashion, dominating the Warriors in every area of the game.

It was a back-and-forth affair to start the match. Both squads traded attacks and errors to keep the opening set close with UE taking the lead late in the set, 21-22.

But the Maroons managed to pull away just in time, scoring four straight points to bag the first set, 25-22.

Carrying momentum from the first, State U came into the second set with a wild flurry of loaded serves and attacks to dominate early in the set, 8-1.

The Red Warriors were able to get back into the set. Making a run of their own, UE managed to inch a bit closer to the Diliman squad, 13-18.

Determined to take the dominating 2-0 lead, UP fired up a 7-2 run to finish the set, 25-15.

At the start of the third, the Warriors were able to play at pace with UP at the beginning of the set. However, costly errors and offensive firepower from the Maroons gave them the set and the match, 25-13.

UP head coach Chuacuco was more than satisfied with the performance of his squad in his debut.

“Actually akala namin may first game jitters kami, but di naman siya nag-materialize. As their new head coach, I’m very happy with how they performed,” Chuacuco said after the game.

It was an overall team effort from the Maroons with more than a few players contributing to the great performance.

Three Maroons scored double figures with UP skipper Jerry San Pedro leading the way with 12, followed by veteran Wendel Miguel and opposite hitter Mark Millete with 11 apiece.

UP hopes to ride the momentum and grab another win as they face the De La Salle University Green Spikers on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

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