GOLD: University of The Philippines; Silver: UST; Bronze: UE at the 2018 Collegiate Grand Slam

University of the Philippines took down University of Santo Tomas, 25-22, 16-25, 25-23, 25-19, to emerge as the inaugural champion of the Philippine Superliga Collegiate Grand Slam yesterday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Skipper Tots Carlos powered the Lady Maroons who dominated erstwhile-unbeaten Tigresses to cop the gold medal in this this prestigious collegiate tourney bankrolled by Isuzu, Mikasa, Senoh, Asics, Mueller, UCPB Gen and Bizooku with Genius Sports as technical sponsor.

Carlos delivered 15 kills, a block and an ace for 17 points while rookie Nicole Magsarile also starred as she chipped in 11 hits as well as Marist Layug, who provided the championship-clinching kill.

“We fought because that’s out motto of the day. We fought to the end and it worked,” Lady Maroons’ head coach Godfrey Okumu said.

“We fought until the end. Even if when we were down we just kept on reminding ourselves that we have to fight. That’s what we came here to do today.”

“We were down and it was a hard work to pick ourselves up but I’m happy that we were able to pick ourselves up.”

Meanwhile, University of the East saved the best for last as it crushed Far Eastern University, 27-25, 25-23, 25-16, to clinch the bronze medal.

With skipper Meann Mendez leading the way, the Lady Red Warriors clobbered the Lady Tamaraws in one hour and 26 minutes to land on the medal podium of this tourney that also has ESPN5, Hyper HD and Aksyon TV as broadcast partners.

Mendez dropped bombs from the firing end as she finished 15 kills and an ace for 16 points while Judith Abil delivered 12 markers and 10 excellent receptions for UE, which grabbed its first medal in a major women’s volleyball tourney since Season 67 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.

“Our mindset coming into this match is that we want to finish the season on a positive note. We’re happy to win the bronze medal,” said UE head coach Karl Dimaculangan.

Dimaculangan, also an assistant coach at Generika-Ayala and brother of Petron setter Rhea Dimaculangan, said they could have easily finished the Lady Tamaraws if not for their 32 errors.

“We’re still very prone to errors. We gave a lot of points to FEU just like what happened in our loss to them in the eliminations,” said Dimaculangan.

“But I’m glad that my players recovered after a tight first two sets and lessen our errors in the third.”