Reliving their battle for a Final Four spot last season, the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws showed that they still had mastery over the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses with a 25-22, 25-18, 15-25, 25-23 victory in the UAAP Women’s Volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre, earlier today.
With desperation in both teams’ eyes, neither side surrendered a lead greater than two for much of the opening set. The Tigeresses held an 18-16 advantage but FEU’s Toni Basas quickly tied the match again, scoring off a spike then a block. From there, both teams exchanged heated attacks with FEU taking set point, 24-22, after a Remy Palma running hit then a Heather Guino-O down-the-line spike. After a timeout, UST failed to get a good pass, resulting in a Cherry Rondina attack error.
Building off their momentum from the first set, FEU surged ahead in the second set. Their slim 8-6 lead inflated to as much as nine, 17-8. UST managed to get as close as five, 17-22, after hits from Ej Laure, but the Lady Tams had built too big a wall for the Tigresses to overcome. Basas and Bernadette Pons capped the third set with emphatic kills, giving FEU a 2-0 sets lead.
Having lacked offense in the first two sets, UST’s wingers stepped in the third frame to extend the match. Laure, Rondina, and Carmela Tunay took turns burying FEU in a nine point ditch, 18-9, and delivered the finishing touches down the stretch.
Control of the fourth set see-sawed between both squads. The Tigresses took a 21-19 lead after a Remy Palma attack error, prompting a timeout. FEU rebounded and scored three straight points helped by a Ria Meneses attack error. FEU eventually took match point, 24-22, after Basas connexted on a down the line stab. Meneses then sealed the match when her flimsy attempt at placing the ball over hit the net.
“We’re very thankful kasi talagang nangangailanga kami ng panalo,” said FEU head coach Shaq Delos Santos. “Nadaan na lang namin sa execution at sa focus pagdating ng dulo ‘yung laban. Maganda ‘yung pinakitang kapit ng mga bata noong dulo.”
Sophomore Basas towed the Lady Tams with a career-high 19 points all of attacks while team captain, Remy Palma managed 12 markers.
After coming off the bench for the past two matches, Carmela Tunay poured in a team-high 16 points in her first start since. Rondina finished with 14 points while Ej Laure tallied 10.
FEU (2-2) will next face the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons (1-2) on Sunday, February 21, 4 p.m. at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. UST (0-3) have the National University Lady Bulldogs (2-1) on Saturday, February 20, 4 p.m. in the same venue.
FEU (3) – Basas 19, Palma 12, Guino-O 9, Pons 6, Villareal 4, Malabanan 2, Sy 2, Cayuna 0, Dionela 0, Hernandez 0, Duremdes (L), Atienza (L)
UST (1) – Tunay 16, Rondina 14, Laure 10, Cortez 7, Meneses 5, Rivera 3, De Leon 1, Bicar 0, Sandoval 0, Reyes (L), Dizon (L)