Last season, the FEU Lady Tamaraws were in the exact situation the UP Lady Maroons were in for today’s game- needing a win to secure a Final Four slot. The Lady Maroons played valiantly and won what was the upset of the season against the Lady Tams. The Lady Tams lost their playoff match against Adamson for the last Final Four seat. Had they not lost to UP, they would have earned the outright berth to the Final Four.
This season, the tables turned for both teams, with UP needing a win to secure the last Final Four seed. Instead, the FEU Lady Tamaraws avenged their loss last season with a four-set beating of the UP Lady Maroons, 19-25, 25-15, 25-19, 25-19 at the MoA Arena.
FEU’s returning players Bernadeth Pons, Mary Remy Palma, and Geneveve Casugod all played their best games of the season at the right time. Pons dished out a game-high 20 points, Palma amassed a season-high 16 points, while Casugod also netted a season-high 13 markers.
UP team captain Nicole Tiamzon continued her sporadic play between sets but was unable to recover in the late sets to save her team. Tiamzon finished with nine points on more than 40 spike attempts. Graduating middle blocker Angeli Araneta led her team with 14 points while rookie Marian Buitre notched 12 points in a losing effort.
FEU’s win forces a quadruple tie for the last Final Four seed between UP, FEU, Adamson, and UST making the last two game days of the season big for the tournament.
UP will need to win their final match of the elimination round against the NU Lady Bulldogs on Saturday to stay alive for the Final Four seed. Whoever wins in Saturday’s match between FEU and Adamson will also remain in contention for a Final Four seed. If UST also wins against UE on Sunday at the San Juan Arena, UST will then force a triple tie for the last playoff seed. If ever there is a triple tie for the last seed, there will be a playoff for the right to compete for a Final Four seed to be determined using set quotients.
FEU – Pons 20, Palma 16, Casugod 13, Dawson 8, Guino-o 6, Basas 1, Papa 1, Malabanan 0, Simborio 0, Agno (L)
UP – Araneta 14, Buitre 12, Tiamzon 9, Alinas 7, Ilustre 3, Lai 2, Sandoval 2, Ong 1, Mangulabnan 1, Ortiz 0, Gaiser (L), Estranero (L)