After a shaky start to the second round, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws recovered, bagging the final top two slot after handling the De La Salle University Green Spikers, 25-21, 25-19, 25-20, for their 11th win in UAAP Season 81 at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Head coach Rey Diaz lauded FEU’s all-around effort in bouncing back from two losses to start the second round.
“Malaking bagay kasi walang nawala sa focus. Lahat gusto talaga manalo, lahat gusto mahigitan ‘yung nakamit namin last season,” said Diaz.
“Kaya wala talagang bumigay. Kahit nitong Holy Week break, focused pa rin sila. Alam nila na malayo pa kami sa tapos,” he added.
The Tamaraws’ precise execution at the net and on the serve helped stave off the Green Spikers. FEU converted 39 attacks to La Salle’s 31, while also netting two aces per set.
Graduating open hitter RJ Paler led the Tamaraws with 12 points, while Peter Quiel and Jude Garcia each provided 10 markers.
Skipper Cris Dumago topped La Salle with 11 points, while rookie Billie Anima managed 10.
FEU’s 11-2 record puts them a game behind the National University (12-1). They face off for the top seed on Sunday, also at the FilOil Flying V Centre. Meanwhile, La Salle (4-9) end their season on Saturday against the University of the Philippines (1-12).
FEU (3) – Paler 12, Garcia 10, Quiel 10, Bugaoan 8, Solis 6, Suarez 4, Calado 3, Padon 0, Silang 0, Barrica (L), Lorenzo (L)
DLSU (0) – Dumago 11, Anima 10, Reyes 9, Bacon 4, Llige 3, Marco 3, De Jesus 1, Delos Reyes 1, Balanog 0, Inocentes 0, Serrano 0, Macaspac (L)