WIN or go home. That is plain and simple the mission order for the University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons and Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws as they battle each other today in the penultimate play date of the elimination round of UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament.
Both sporting identical 7-6 records, UP and FEU need to come out victorious in their scheduled “do-or-die” match at 4 p.m. at the FilOil Flying V Centre lest they find themselves out of the Final Four picture and have their University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season rendered over.
The Lady Maroons enter the contest off a disappointing three-sets loss at the hands of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses, 25-20, 25-21 and 25-16, last Sunday.
Had it won said match, UP would have earned at least a playoff for one of the remaining two semifinal slots and not pushed to the brink for today’s contest with FEU.
Against UST (8-5), the Lady Maroons just could not keep in step with their opponents and did not have an answer when the Tigresses made their move.
No one UP player cracked the double-digit mark in scoring with Tots Carlos the high-point man with eight points, followed by Isa Molde and Nicole Tiamzon with seven points apiece.
Compounding their woes, the Lady Maroons gave 26 points to the Tigresses off errors.
The defeat left UP ruing the lost chance to pad its Final Four bid.
But the Lady Maroons vowed to “move on” and do their best against FEU.
ON A HIGH
Unlike UP, FEU goes into the game on a high, having won their last two matches to infuse life back to its once-flickering semifinal hopes.
The Lady Tamaraws beat University of the East (UE) and National University (NU) in succession to get back in playoff contention.
In its straight-sets win over NU, 25-21, 25-21 and 25-22, last Saturday, FEU got solid plays from Bernadeth Pons and Chin-Chin Basas who scored 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Setter Kyle Negrito also had a steady game with 18 excellent sets to go along with six points.
“I told my teammates that this is the start of our UAAP journey. We must leave the on-court heartaches in the past and start fresh. We must give everything we got in our remaining games to move on to the next round,” said FEU captain Remy Palma following their victory over NU.
The winner today between UP and FEU will await the outcome of the match between UST and NU (7-6) on Saturday, April 8. A UST win tows UP or FEU to the Final Four while an NU victory forces a three-way log jam for third place and playoff.
Meanwhile, in the first game at 2 p.m., tailending teams UE (1-12) and Adamson Lady Falcons (0-13) try to finish a difficult season on a winning note.