By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Tallying only a lone win last UAAP Season 81, the UP Fighting Maroons men’s volleyball team got off to a hot start after pulling off an upset win against the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
Whipping the Blue Eagles squad in straight sets, 25-21, 25-20, 25-22, the Fighting Maroons’ put on an offensive clinic after torching Ateneo in all aspects of the game.
Last season’s 2nd runner-up finishers absorbed and accepted the loss early on after pulling out several key players in the third set.
Louis Gumban, a Fighting Maroon rookie straight from Perpetual, put the team behind his back in the most crucial parts of the third set.
Gumban fired 10 total points for the whole duration of the match with 4 of them in the last five minutes of the match.
The win against Ateneo was also a historic one, with the boys in Maroon garnering their first-ever victory against the boys from Katipunan after 6 UAAP seasons.
“Ang goal namin talaga is simulan ng maayos ‘yung season. Nahirapan lang talaga kasi Ateneo ‘yung simula agad so yung anticipation, ‘yung pressure andoon agad sa amin,” UP head coach Rald Ricafort said.”