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Lady Tams earn right to chase Final Four berth, eliminate Lady Falcons

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After looking stale for much of the second round, the FEU Lady Tams seemed to have hit their groove at the perfect time after claiming their second straight do-or-die match over the Adamson Lady Falcons in three sets, 25-20, 25-21, 25-18, at the San Juan Arena.

The Lady Tams were struggling all season to find the combination for their starting six. The starters they fielded the past two games – Pons, Palma, Guino-o, Casugod, Dawson, Papa – fit the bill and gave them a chance to barge into the Final Four after staying in seventh place for the past few weeks.

Third-year middle blocker Remy Palma and sophomore stalwart Geneveve Casugod keyed the Lady Tams’ clutch victory as AdU could not check their signature running spikes and counter their blocking. Palma finished the match with 12 points with four blocks while Casugod had 10 points. FEU open hitter Bernadette Pons was also big for the Lady Tams, pitching in 12 points and eight digs while their setter Yna Papa – who has been struggling all season – finally earned her way back to the starting six, and has been playing magnificently for the past two matches. FEU’s graduating Libero Christine Agno played a huge role in stalling AdU’s offense as she was omnipresent in the back row. This frustrated Adamson’s attackers, who were limited to 29 points off attacks while FEU fired in 40.

Adamson’s graduating veterans, who were playing tremendous volleyball for most of the season, failed to produce when their team needed them most. BS Psychology student Amanda Villanueva was brilliant all season, but the FEU defense had her number in this match as she was only able to deliver five points. Team captain Faye Guevara managed four points, while Princess Lisatana and Len Cortel tried to bolster Adamson’s back row defense, but just could not keep their team afloat.

FEU joins UST in waiting for the result of tomorrow’s NU-UP tilt to determine the outcome in the playoff for a Final Four berth. UP needs to win tomorrow’s game to tie FEU’s and UST’s record. The first playoff will be played on Wednesday at the MoA Arena.

The scores:

FEU – Pons 12, Palma 12, Casugod 10, Dawson 7, Guino-o 6, Papa 5, Malabanan 1, Atienza 0, Agno (L)

AdU – Paat 11, Galanaza 7, Villanueva 5, Alkuino 5, Emnas 4, Guevara 4, Tempiatura (L), Listana (L)

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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