The Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws completed their semifinals comeback, slamming the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-17, to clinch a seat in the PVL Collegiate Conference Finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
UST blitzed the Lady Tamaraws in the first set, grabbing an insurmountable 12-3 lead and staving off late FEU runs.
Like Game Two, FEU rebounded gracefully from an early setback. Kyle Negrito, Heather Guino-O, and Jerrili Malabanan collaborated on a run that pushed the Lady Tamaraws from 9-all deadlock to a 19-11 cushion. The Tigresses’ bench players came in and trimmed FEU’s lead down to four, 22-18. Negrito, however, had the set on lock, setting up FEU’s last three points, including serving an ace for the set-clinching point.
The pivotal third frame was close, until Guino-O sparked the Lady Tamaraws. With FEU holding on to a slim 22-21 advantage, the Cavite-native delivered two of FEU’s last three points and gave them a 2-1 edge.
FEU then clinched the match with an 8-3 start to the fourth set, causing UST to grasp for answers. The Tigresses made one last run, but tremendous FEU floor and net defense powered a closing 6-2 run that sent them to the Finals.
“Sabi ko sa kanila i-maintain lang nila ‘yung gameplan namin and intensity from kahapon. Alam ko naman na sanay kami sa mga ganyang competition na crossover. Talagang ginaganahan,” said FEU head coach George Pascua.
The Lady Tamaraws had another balanced score sheet led by veteran Jerrili Malabanan who managed 13 points. Rookie Lycha Ebon and Kyle Negrito added 12 apiece.
Eya Laure topped all scorers with 15 points while opposite hitter Caitlyn Viray paced UST with 11 markers.
FEU takes on UP in the best-of-three Finals while UST faces Adamson for bronze on Sunday at the same venue.
FEU (3) – Malabanan 13, Ebon 12, Negrito 12, Domingo 7, Villareal 6, Carandang 0, Cayuna 0, Ronquillo 0, Duremdes (L)
UST (1) – Laure 15, Viray 11, Alessandrini 9, Bicar 9, Francisco 8, Jimenes 5, Sandoval 1, Camaligan 0, Galanza 0, Delerio (L), Martin (L)