After six years, State U is back in the Final Four.
University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons are headed to the postseason after defeating the Adamson Falcons in four scintillating sets, 31-29, 18-25, 25-18, 25-22 at the San Juan Arena Wednesday.
UP’s victory also quashed Far Eastern University’s hopes of forcing a playoff for the last seat in the next round, despite the Tamaraws’ win against UST earlier that day. This is UP’s first Final Four appearance since 2010.
After surviving the first set that went the distance, the Fighting Maroons banked on solid net defense to quell Adamson’s uprising in the fourth set. They registered a tournament-high 21 kill blocks.
Ace spiker Wendel Miguel led UP with 21 points built on 18 kills, 2 blocks and an ace. Team captain Alfred Valbuena and rookie Mark Millete tallied 20 and 12 markers, respectively. The latter made huge plays in the fourth set as he scored on blocks and hits against Adamson.
The Falcons were led by Mike Sudaria with 14 points, while Jerome Sarmiento and Dave Pletado contributed 13 and 12 points each. The loss relegated Adamson to third spot, giving National University the twice-to-beat advantage.
UP will take on league-leading Ateneo Blue Eagles that has a twice-to-beat incentive, while Adamson is paired with NU in the final four clash.