UNIVERSITY of the Philippines hopes to reignite the old form that installed it as title favorite when the Lady Maroons play National University at 4 p.m. today in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
With its ace scorer Tots Carlos in her worst form, UP crashed out of the top four range after dropping a 21-25, 15-25, 26-28 decision to Katipunan rival Ateneo last Sunday.
“We tried, but things did not happen as planned. You could see we did not play our game,” said coach Godfrey Okumu, whose Lady Maroons currently sit in fifth place with a 3-2 record.
“The only thing I can say as a coach, we don’t take any team for granted. I hoped that we would have fought the same way we fought against La Salle, but the fight wasn’t there in us today. So, I still believe we have a strong team,” he added.
Whether it will be a surging Lady Eagles or the struggling Lady Bulldogs, Okumu simply wants his troops to play at a higher level in every match.
“As I said, everybody wants to beat UP. I mean, after two off-season championships and the way we are playing, I think everybody wants to have the best out of us,” said Okumu.
A win will definitely boost the Lady Maroons’ morale as the elimination round reaches the halfway mark.
Despite its 1-4 record, NU has showed promise with its youth movement led by Princess Robles and Ivy Lacsina, while playing without pressure despite losing rookie setter Joyme Cagande to a season-ending knee injury.
Ateneo, meanwhile, stakes its hold of the top spot against Adamson in the 2 p.m. curtain raiser.
Written off after losing to the Lady Spikers on opening weekend, the Lady Eagles soared to four consecutive victories to seize the solo lead.