Adamson pulled off a stunning come-from-behind victory against reigning UAAP champion La Salle, winning Game 1 of the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) National Invitationals finale with a score of 22-25, 25-17, 17-25, 27-25, 16-14. The thrilling match took place on Wednesday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
The Lady Falcons turned the tables on the Lady Spikers, overcoming a significant 11-20 deficit in the fourth set. They managed to secure a narrow victory in the clincher, putting them on the cusp of capturing the first SSL national title.
Skipper Lucille Almonte played a crucial role for Adamson throughout the match, contributing 24 points including three aces and a block. Super rookie Red Bascon stepped up when it counted the most, delivering crucial plays to finish with seven points and secure the win for the Lady Falcons.
Ayesha Juegos tallied 13 points, while Sharya Nicole Ancheta and Lorene Toring added 10 points each in Adamson’s well-balanced offensive attack under the guidance of their new mentor, JP Yude.
Yude, a former Adamson player who took over coaching duties in June from Jerry Yee, expressed his confidence in the team’s abilities, constantly encouraging them. He emphasized the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and fighting until the very end.
La Salle, coming off a hard-fought five-set victory against the University of Santo Tomas, where they managed to save multiple match points from a 1-2 deficit, initially appeared to be on the path to a comfortable four-set win against Adamson. They built a seemingly insurmountable 20-11 lead, but Adamson displayed remarkable resilience.
With Almonte leading the charge, the Lady Falcons mounted an impressive 11-1 rally, culminating in Ancheta’s quick middle attack that put them in the lead at 22-21. The two teams exchanged blows, each reaching match point before Bascon’s two consecutive hits sealed a 27-25 win, forcing the match into a fifth set.
In the intense final set, Bascon continued to shine, delivering back-to-back attacks that led to Adamson’s dramatic victory.
Shevana Laput led La Salle’s effort with an impressive 30 points, supported by Thea Gagate and Alleiah Malaluan with 14 points each. Baby Jyne Soreño added 11 points, but despite their efforts, La Salle suffered its first defeat in the 12-team tournament.
In an earlier match, the University of Santo Tomas secured a decisive victory over the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, with a score of 25-15, 25-22, 25-15.
This win puts UST at 1-0 in the battle for the bronze medal in the tournament presented by Eurotel as the official hotel and Victory Liner as the office transport provider, in cooperation with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
Regina Jurado led UST’s charge with 19 points, supported by rookie spiker Angeline Poyos with 13 points. The duo had previously contributed 29 and 25 points, respectively, in UST’s closely contested defeat against UAAP champion and SSL finalist La Salle, which ended with a score of 25-22, 18-25, 25-14, 24-26, 24-26.