THE UST Golden Tigresses faltered against the Cocolife Asset Managers, 19-25, 25-16, 17-25, 20-25, in their debut in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the Filoil Flying V Centre Tuesday.
UST played without top spikers EJ Laure and Cherry Rondina, who suited up for their respective club teams, and key blocker Ria Meneses, who opted out of her last playing year.
UST held a brief 16-12 lead in the fourth set before Cocolife took command with a 13-4 blitz capped by former Golden Tigress Mary Jean Balse-Pabayo’s down-the-line hit for the win.
Cocolife sparked an 11-4 run early in the third frame for a 19-13 cushion.
Michelle Gumabao and Sarah Jane Gonzales teamed up to stave off a late UST run, 25-17.
UST won its lone set in the second frame after a 12-4 run punctuated by team captain Shannen Palec’s service ace.
With the Asset Managers in full control of the first set, 24-13, Cocolife’s Shar Latai Manu-Olevao delivered the final blow with a crosscourt kill.
Cocolife’s imports did most of the work with Taylor Fae Milton leading the team with 21 points and Shar Latai Manu chipping in 20.
The Asset Managers’ towering net defense produced 12 blocks, led by Milton’s five rejections. UST only had two.
Dindin Pacres and Carla Sandoval paced UST with 14 points apiece while Japanese import Yukie Inamasu had 11.
UST will next face the Petron Spike Blazers on Nov. 9, Thursday, at the same venue.