The De La Salle University Lady Spikers exorcised their late-match struggles, sweeping the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws 25-15, 27-25, 25-21 to make their eighth straight UAAP Finals at the SM MoA Arena.
The Lady Spikers again opened the match strong, dominating the first set right from the first point. FEU immediately responded in the second set, keeping pace with La Salle then surging ahead, 23-19, after three straight aces from Heather Guino-O. Following a timeout, the Lady Spikers rained heavy serves on FEU’s unsuspecting defense. Majoy Baron brought the Lady Spikers to a 24-23 lead after two straight aces. Bernadette Pons brought her team to a deuce twice off combination plays. But La Salle managed to finish the set thanks to a timely ace from Ara Galang.
Where theh faltered in their previous meetings against FEU, La Salle shined. Leading 22-16, the Lady Spikers stopped a rampant FEU rally down the stretch. The Lady Tams got within two, 22-20, but La Salle’s veterans made all the big plays. Cyd Demecillo, Ara Galang, and Kim Fajardo scored La Salle’s last points.
“Lumabas yung maturity namin. I’m glad to see na na-overcome namin ‘yun,” said La Salle head coach Ramil De Jesus. “Gusto ko talaga makita sa team yung down kami, tapos hahabol.”
Galang and Mika Reyes topped La Salle with 10 points apiece while Kim Fajardo added six points and 50 excellent sets.
Pons and Toni Basas led the Lady Tams with 10 apiece. In her final UAAP match, Season 74 Best Setter Gyzelle Sy tossed 32 excellent sets and scored one point.
The Finals will begin on Saturday, 4 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum where La Salle and Ateneo meet for the fifth consecutie year. This season will be the tiebreaker as both squads split the first two titles.
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