The three-peat seeking De La Salle University Lady Spikers handled the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses in straight sets, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22, and moved closer to claiming a twice-to-beat advantage at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
La Salle battled back from a 19-23 deficit in the first set with Kianna Dy pulling in three attacks to force a 23-all tie. Des Cheng followed with a service ace before Sisi Rondina sunk the Tigresses with an attack error.
Tied at 21 in the second frame, UST surrendered back-to-back errors to buoy La Salle to the lead. Building on her clutch reputation, Des Cheng finished off the set with a smash-to-block sequence.
The Lady Spikers tried to runaway with the third set, grabbing a 21-17 lead. But UST ace Sisi Rondina refused to relent, brining the Tigresses to within one, 23-22. Dy, however, shut the door on Rondina in the following point, allowing May Luna to end the match.
Aked abour their slow start, La Salle head coach Ramil De Jesus harped on his team’s tendency to play sluggishly coming from long breaks.
“Well, ito ‘yung isang sakit ng La Salle eh. Pagka long break, pag balik dito medyo kinakalawang. So ito nga ‘yung palagi kong nire-remind ‘yung team na pagka ganitong mahabang bakasyon, pagbalik medyo hindi tama, maraming mga unforced error na ginagalaw. Parang hindi magkakakilala sa loob,” said De Jesus.
Kianna Dy led the Lady Spikers with 12 points while team captain Majoy Baron added nine markers.
La Salle won their sixth straight match and elevated their record to 10-2. They can clinch a twice-to-beat incentive in the semis with a win on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre against AdU (5-7).
Rondina was scorching hot, tallying 23 points but her brilliance could not mask UST’s 27 errors.
UST fell off the Final Four race even before the match started and settled at a 4-9 slate. They end their season against the Adamson Lady Falcons on Saturday at the Blue Eagle Gym.
DLSU (3) – Dy 12, Baron 9, Ogunsanya 8, Cheng 5, Luna 5, Tiamzon 4, Cobb 3, Ipac 1, Tiu 1, Layug 0, Macandili (L)
UST (0) – Rondina 23, Alessandrini 10, Francisco 6, Palec 4, Viray 3, Dizon 1, Bicar 0, Sandoval 0, Teope 0, Rivera (L)