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UE, Perpetual shine in SSL opener

It was not the type of performance University of the East head coach Ronwald Dimaculangan wanted to see in the Lady Warriors’ campaign opener in the Shakey’s Super League 2022 Collegiate Pre-season Championship.

UE played lethargic, Dimaculangan admitted, but he’ll take the win anyway.

“It was an ugly win but at least I saw in them the resiliency to bounce back. From here we’ll try to address our mistakes,” Dimaculangan said following the Lady Warriors’ 31-33, 25-20, 25-23, 21-25, 15-12, win over Mapua University in Pool A action Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Dimaculangan rued the sluggish movement of his wards as UE allowed the Lady Cardinals to dictate the pace.

It didn’t help that the Lady Warriors were even struggling with their reception.

“We had difficulty in our reception so we can’t pass well, losing our chances of creating high percentage plays,” said Dimaculangan.

Lia Pelaga submitted 18 points, Parcea Nieva had 17 while Von Dimaculangan and KC Cepada finished with 16 and 15 markers, respectively, for UE. Erin Navaro posted 14 points for the Lady Warriors.

Meanwhile, University of Perpetual Help turned to Shaila Omipon to turn back San Beda University, 24-26, 25-21, 25-23, 27-25, in the other Pool A pairing.

The rookie winger delivered nine points in the tight fourth set as the Lady Altas pulled through to join University of the East in the win column.

Omipon finished with 17 points with her last two hits putting Perpetual at match point in the extended fourth set.

The Lady Red Spikers threatened to send the game to a fifth set after Angel Habacon scored a kill block that put San Beda up, 22-20.

Perpetual took the lead back, 24-23, following an ace by Jhasmin Sapin before San Beda moved at set point, 25-24, off a Marianne Tayag hit.

Omipon answered with back-to-back kills before the Lady Red Spikers threw their chance to equalize on a costly attack error.

A pivotal 7-2 scoring blast midway in the fifth set to break a 7-7 deadlock pushed UE at match point, 14-9. The Lady Cardinals saved three match points with Hannah De Guzman landing an ace to pull Mapua within two, 14-12, only to send her next service straight to the net to end the match.

Alyanna Ong led the Lady Cardinals’ charge with 17 points while Hannah De Guzman and Nadine Barces Trixie Gojol got 16 and 15 markers, respectively.

Meanwhile, action resumes Sunday with NCAA champion College of St. Benilde squaring off against Letran in the Pool D curtain-raiser at 12:00 noon.

Emilio Aguinaldo College and Adamson University cross paths at 2:00 p.m. followed by another Pool B showdown between University of Sto. Tomas and Lyceum of the Philippines University at 4:00 p.m. University of the Philippines will make its debut at 6:00 p.m. against Mapua University in Pool A.

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