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United VC ends elimination round on high note

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Kalei Mau and Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani connived in the crucial stretch to lift United VC to a pulsating 21-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-14, 15-11 victory over Sta. Lucia in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Mau delivered the finishing touches in the fifth set while Bedart-Ghani asserted her leadership for United VC, which closed the classification of this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Asics, Mueller, Mikasa, Senoh, Team Rebel Sports, Bizooku, UCPB Gen, Cocolife, Hotel Sogo and Data Project on a high note.

United VC finished with a 7-7 win-loss mark and would take on the fifth spot to arrange a quarterfinal duel with fourth-seed Cignal, which is marching with a twice-to-beat advantage.

Reigning champion Petron clinches the top spot with a flawless 14-0 mark while F2 Logistics and PLDT Home Fibr emerge second and third with 10-3 and 8-6 records, respectively.

Mau, the former Arizona star, unleased 26 points laced with 12 digs while Bedart-Ghani chipped in 21 kills and four blocks to finish with 25 points for United VC, which is still missing the services of import Tai Manu-Olevao.

Setter Alohi Robins-Hardy also did an all-around effort, dishing out 22 excellent receptions on top of 12 points off five blocks, five attacks and a pair of aces.

“It was frustrating for them because we lost a really close set. We didn’t have anything to say because the players knew it was a wakeup call,” said United VC coach Joshua Ylaya.

“We were hoping to have a chance at a twice-to-beat. Whoever we face, we’re not going to take them lightly.”

Sta. Lucia failed to show its killer instincts with just a set away from pulling off an upset.

Import Casey Schoenlein carried the cudgels with 20 points while Pam Lastimosa had 13 points including 12 excellent receptions and Molly Lohman added 11 for the Lady Realtors, who sank in the bottom of the standings with a 2-12 mark.