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Laure blazes hot to lift UST against Arellano

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University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses surpassed a firestorm imposed by the NCAA champions, Arellano University Chiefs, with a 25-21, 25-22, 19-25, 24-25, 15-12 decision to continue its winning run in the quarterfinals phase of the Shakeys V-League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Arena, Sunday afternoon.

Both teams torched each other with attacks throughout the early parts of the first set. With scores tied at 18 all, the Lady Chiefs committed errors down the stretch, as EJ Laure stepped up for the Golden Tigresses to take the first set.

Laure’s presence continued to be felt as she scored over the block to give UST a slim 16-15 lead against the Lady Chiefs in the second technical timeout of the highly offensive second set. Pam Lastimosa, Chloe Cortez and Jessey De Leon also provided clutch points for the Golden Tigresses, as the Lady Chiefs continued to be unable to control their errors.

The Lady Chiefs flipped a switch in the third set, with CJ Rosario and guest player, Carmina Aganon, carrying the offensive load for the Lady Chiefs. Errors bugged the Golden Tigresses throughout the set that helped Arellano to established a 19-13 lead midway in the set. Furthermore, Aganon put the finishing touches to book the set for the Lady Chiefs.

In the fourth set, UST and Arellano continue to slugged it out in the early frame, but Arellano scored three straight points to give themselves a 16-15 lead in the second timeout. UST, behind Lastimosa, De Leon, Ria Meneses, and Christine Francisco, put the Golden Tigresses at match point 24-23. Unfortunately for the Tigresses, Cortez committed two crucial errors and Danna Henson scored through the block to extend the match for the Lady Chiefs.

UST quickly blasted the Lady Chiefs for a 6-1 lead in the final set. Aganon and Tubiera were able to put the Lady Chiefs back in game, cutting the deficit to just 2 at 9-7. Lastimosa kept the Lady Chiefs at bay by scoring three straight points to create some separation at 12-8. The Lady Chiefs then went on a 4-0 run behind Aganon and Rosario to tie the match at 12-all. Moreover, Lastimosa scored a kill, and Laure nailed UST’s last two points to finally end the intense match.

After the game Golden Tigresses Head Coach Kungfu Reyes said that the match against the Lady Chiefs finally opens a new chapter in the team.

“Panibagong chapter ito sa team, walang nanalo sa two sets, masyadong maraming itinapon noong last two sets(set three and four), consistent naman si Alyssa (Teope) sa set pero ang spikers namin ang daming tinatapon,” Reyes said.

Reyes said that Laure’s positioning in the back due to rotation didn’t help the Golden Tigresses to survive a high octane fourth set against the Lady Chiefs.

“Ang dilemma naming sa harap wala kaming pamato dahil si EJ(Laure) nasa likod. kapag wala siya, nag-aagawan sila. Nag suffer ang opensa sa harap, yung ang wino-work out namin since day one na dapat walang patay na rotation,” Reyes emphasized.

Reyes also praises Laure with her impressive game as the open hitter finally embraced the role her coach wants for her.

“Natatanggap na niya ang role, evident naman sa ginawa niya. Nag mature na parang mina ng ganito,” Reyes added.

Laure scored 23 points, 20 points coming from attacks to lead the Golden Tigresses, while Lastimosa and Cortez chipping in 18 and 14 points, respectively.

Aganon finished with 23 points for the Lady Chiefs with Rosario and Henson contributing 15 and 11 markers apiece.

The Golden Tigresses will continue its quarterfinals campaign against the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons on August 23, at 12:45 PM, while the Lady Chiefs next assignment is against the UAAP champions, Ateneo De Manila University Lady Eagles, on the same day at 3:00 PM in the same venue.

The scores:

UST (3) – Laure 23, Lastimosa 18, Cortez 14, Meneses 10, De Leon 8, Francisco 2, Teope 1, Verutiao 0, Cabanos 0, Dizon 0, Rasmo (L)

AU (2) – Aganon 23, Rosario 15, Henson 11, Tubiera 10, Legacion 5, Carino 4,Mabbayad 3, Sagun 2, Ramirez 1, Prado 0, Salamagos 0, Galang (L)

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