IMUS CITY – University of the Philippines-United Auctioneers, Inc. (UP-UAI) and Foton hammered contrasting wins to book a battle for seventh place in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference at the Imus Sports Center.
Rising star Isa Molde provided the much-needed firepower for the Lady Maroons who recovered from a rusty start to clinch a 23-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-13 victory for their first win in this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu, UCPB Gen and SOGO Hotel with ESPN5, Hyper HD and Aksyon TV as broadcast partners.
Earlier, Foton walked over University of the East-Cherrylume to punch a ticket for the consolation round.
According to organizers, the Iron Lady Warriors could not travel to Cavite due to heavy rainfall and flood brought by Typhoon Henry. UE cancelled classes and office operations early in the day.
The Tornadoes and Lady Maroons will clash for seventh place on Thursday when the league rolls back to Filoil Flying V Centre.
Molde unloaded 17 points off 14 kills, two service aces and a block to put UP-UAI in the win column after a string of misfortunes in this tourney that also has Senoh, Mikasa, Mueller, Asics and Grand Sport as technical sponsors.
“Our first win in the PSL is special. As I’ve said before our team is playing well. We just needed to find the perfect winning formula,” said UP-UAI head coach Godfrey Okumu after breaking out of a winless four-game preliminary round in Pool A.
Molde drew ample support from Marian Buitre and Abi Goc delivering 10 and nine points, respectively. Jessma Ramos added seven markers while setter Ayel Estrañero had as many points on top of 35 excellent sets and 16 digs.
“Today it went well and the team really deserves the results even though we started in a shaky way,” Okumu added.
The Lady Maroons bucked a lethargic start falling short in the first set but caught fire in the next three sets dominating the Asset Managers in one hour and 35 minutes.
Nobody scored double figures for Cocolife with Justine Tiu and Cecilia Bangad had the highest production of six points each.
The Asset Managers take on the Iron Lady Warriors for the 9th place also on Thursday.
Games Thursday July 19:
FilOil Flying V Centre
2:00 pm — UE-Cherrylume vs Cocolife
4:15 pm — Foton vs UP-UAI
7:00 pm — Generika-Ayala vs Smart-Army