Published On: Wed, Apr 10th, 2019

UP out to fight for slim Final Four chance

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Published 11:05 PM, April 10, 2019

Updated 11:05 PM, April 10, 2019

DETERMINED. The UP Lady Maroons face must-win games for the remainder of the season. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

DETERMINED. The UP Lady Maroons face must-win games for the remainder of the season. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons took another massive blow on their playoff chances, but head coach Godfrey Okumu believes that UP will fight it out in their last two assignements.

“We are there to fight, we are going to fight, we are going to fight it out, we are going strong, we believe that these are the games we have to win and that is what we’re going for,” said Okumu.

The Lady Maroons fell into the hands of University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses in straight sets in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday, April 10 at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The loss pushed UP’s record down to 6-6 – two games behind the 8-4 slates of UST and Far Eastern University (FEU) – forcing the Lady Maroons to a pair of must-win games against eliminated teams National University and Adamson.

At the same time, though, the Lady Maroons must hope that other teams slugging it out for Final Four slots drop some games for them to force a playoff for the 4th spot.

Only Ateneo (10-1) has secured a semifinal berth, while La Salle, FEU and UST have secured at least a playoff for a Final Four slot.

Despite the loss, one of the upsides for UP is its senior player Marian Buitre, who grabbed 16 points to help the Lady Maroons put up a fight against the Golden Tigresses.

Buitre is positive on UP’s playoff chances, although the senior admits that there is now less room for errors for her squad to stay alive.

Siyempre the fight still continues and it’s a long season pa kahit two games na lang yan. I guess like I said before there is no time to slack off. Wala na kaming ibang choice kung hindi magpush pa lalo,” shared Buitre.

(The fight still continues and it’s still a long season, so even if there are just two games left for us, we can’t afford to slack off. We don’t have a choice now but to continue to push and strive harder.)

Although UP’s loss to UST proved to be a big blow, Okumu knows that the battle for their Final Four dream is far from over.

“Today was a big contender. Today was the biggest moment that we should seize comfortably. But like Lenny [Kravitz] say ‘It’s not over till it’s over,’ so we know what’s at stake. Yeah, we’re gonna work on it, we’re gonna produce results,” said Okumu. – Wilmyn Migguel See/Rappler.com

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