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New UP coach proud of team's effort despite UE scare

MANILA, Philippines – University of the Philippines (UP) came very close to disaster in their very first game of UAAP Season 80, as the Lady Maroons nearly squandered a two-set advantage against University of the East (UE) last Sunday.

Fortunately for UP, they were able to hack out a 25-19, 25-13, 21-25. 16-25, 15-8 victory to give new head coach Godfrey Okumu a triumphant welcome to the UAAP.

"We put them under pressure in the first two sets, and then we relaxed. We thought that we had won the game," said Okumu, a Kenyan coach who previously worked with UP in their build-up to Season 79, before taking over the post vacated by Jerry Yee late last year.

New UP coach Godfrey Okumu. Arvin Lim, ABS-CBN Sports
"You saw in the fifth set, we started fighting back, our defense came back – our normal defense," he added.

Okumu saw plenty of areas for improvement. Not only did UP come close to losing to a team that has won a combined two games in two seasons, but they did so in very disappointing fashion. The Lady Maroons committed a whopping 46 unforced errors in the match, which accounted for more than half of the 90 total points that UE scored.

They also gave up 12 aces to UE, and had no answer for Shaya Adorador's serve in the fourth set where they completely collapsed.

Author: Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
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