Despite absorbing a pair of major injuries, the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws still found a way to escape the Adamson University Lady Falcons, 30-32, 25-20, 23-25, 25-20, 15-13, for their fifth win in the UAAP Season 81 Women’s Volleyball tournament at the Ynares Sports Center.
The first set came down to a drawn-out deuce, concluding after FEU’s insistence on giving the ball to rookie Lycha Ebon backfired and resulted in a blocked hit and an attack error. Adamson then took their turn giving up errors in the second frame; FEU’s set-clinching 4-0 run was peppered with the Lady Falcons’ miscues.
Reaching set point first in the third frame, 24-21, the Lady Falcons fended off a last-gasp FEU rally after Joy Dacoron swooped in for her signature slide attack to end the set. Adamson seemed to have the win in sight in the following frame, leading 16-14, but their offense went tepid. The Lady Tamaraws surged ahead 23-18 and dragged the match to a decider.
Disaster nearly struck FEU in the final set. Rookie Lycha Ebon went down clutching her right knee after giving her squad a 3-1 lead. As Ebon was carried off the court, the Lady Tamaraws mustered a rejuvenated effort to claim a 10-5 advantage. Flat-footed FEU defense opened the door for Adamson to roar back and force an 11-all tie. Adamson’s serve specialist Hannah Infante then served out. FEU’s own serve specialist Carly Hernandez delivered an ace to give FEU a 13-11 edge.
Jerrili Malabanan and Celine Domingo struck the final blows to end the nearly three-hour contest.
Ebon finished with a game-high 19 points before going down. She was also the team’s morale catalyst along with Jeanette Villareal, who suffered a right ankle sprain in the first set.
“Sabi ko nga sa mga players na mas mahirap para doon sa mga kakampi nila na hindi na nakakalaro and gusto pa mag-contribute. Sabi ko sa kanila na isipin natin sila and kunin natin ‘yung panalo para sa kanila,” said FEU head coach George Pascua.
Heather Guino-O managed 14 points for the Lady Tams. Kyle Negrito added nine points from six aces and three attacks to go with 23 excellent sets.
Eli Soyud topped the Lady Falcons with 17 points. Joy Dacoron and Chiara Permentilla each provided 15 markers.
FEU (5-3) take on the University of the East Lady Warriors (3-6) on Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Meanwhile, Adamson (1-7) face the National University Lady Bulldogs (2-6) on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
FEU (3) – Ebon 19, Guino-O 14, Negrito 9, Carandang 8, Malabanan 8, Domingo 6, Ronquillo 5, Agudo 4, Hernandez 2, Villareal 1, Cayuna 0, Duremdes (L)
AdU (2) – Soyud 17, Dacoron 15, Permentilla 15, Flora 11, Igao 7, Macaslang 4, Perez 2, Genesis 1, Ave 0, Infante 0, Yandoc 0, Ponce (L)