Despite uncharacteristically sloppy play, the FEU Lady Tamaraws bounced the UE Lady Warriors, 25-16, 25-17, 22-25, 25-18 at the San Juan Arena.
With FEU mixing and matching players, the Lady Tams found consistent contributions from their veterans. Sophomore hotshot Bernadette Pons led FEU with 14 points while third year middle blocker Remy Joy Palma pitched in 11 points which included two blocks. Rookie Toni Rose Basas also gave her team a boost early in the match and finished with eight markers.
After scrapping their way to an early 8-7 lead, the Lady Warriors succumbed to their own errors, managing to win only five points for the rest of the set, which FEU took handily.
The Lady Tams rode the momentum of their first set win into the second frame, dishing out a 12-5 whooping to begin the set. UE team captain Shaya Adorador kept her team alive with timely stabs to keep the margin to as slim as five. But FEU kept up the offensive behind steady contributions from all attackers to take their second set.
Down 3-5 in the third set, FEU’s Pons brought her team back with a flurry of great deliveries from the service line. With FEU holding a 9-5 lead, the Lady Warriors stormed back and took a 15-12 lead with their slicker defense and crisp attacks. FEU sophomore Geneveve Casugod quelled the UE rally, scoring thrice in a four-point FEU run. A tenacious UE side continued to pester FEU and eventually stole the lead to notch their first set win of the season.
UE continued their resurgent play through the early parts of the fourth set, keeping pace with a dumbfounded FEU side. However, UE reverted to their usual lackluster selves midway through the set, allowing FEU to punch holes in their defense which sealed the win for the Lady Tams.
“Ganon talaga kasi second round na, kailangan talaga lahat ng teams mag all-out na,” said FEU coach Shaq Delos Santos when asked about the surprising play of their opponent.
UE is still winless through almost three seasons now while FEU is at fifth place with a 4-5 record and has UST up next.
“Di na ko magsisinungaling, gusto ko talaga sila (UST) bawian, alam ko namang hindi madali yun, pero tatrabahuhin namin,” said Coach Shaq.
FEU – Pons 14, Palma 11, Basas 8, Guino-o 7, Dawson 5, Casugod 5, Malabanan 4, Negrito 3, Simborio 2, Papa 0, Agno (L) 0
UE – Adorador 14, Dacaymat 13, Mananasala 6, Baliton 5, Alcayde 5, Juanillo 2, Abil 1, Ponon 1, Bendong 1, Arado (L) 0