The undermanned Far Eastern University sputtered but regained footing just in time to quell the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons in Game One of the battle for bronze in the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference, 25-23, 25-23, 21-25, 21-25, 15-9, at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
“Ang hirap noong first two sets naming panalo, hindi ko alam sa mga player kung bakit nila kailangan magpahinga ng ganoong katagal. Dalawang set ang kinailangan namin para maka-recover,” said FEU head coach Shaq Delos Santos.
The Lady Tamaraws had to work hard to keep a steady two-point wall in the first set after trailing by three early. A string of strong Carly Hernandez serves placed FEU from down 17-20 to ahead 22-20. Clutch offensive transitions finished by FEU’s wingers gave them the set down the stretch. The Lady Tams ten staved off a late UP rally, seeing their 21-17 lead erased and be dragged to a tie. But late UP errors and Heather Guino-O hits allowed the ladies from Morayta to escape with a 2-0 lead.
The following frames, however, saw the Lady Tamaraws lose their closing flourish and allow UP to build early leads. The Lady Maroons held on to a 16-11 lead in the third set then an 18-13 advantage in the fourth to extend the match.
But the decider was all FEU. With UP unable to mount any offense, the Lady Tams surged ahead 11-4 and never looked back.
“Importante sa amin na maiuwi ‘yung bronze kasi magbibigay pa rin sa amin ‘to, kahit papaano, ng confidence na nag-improve na kami,” added Delos Santos.
Guino-O finished with a game-high 23 points, while opposite hitter Toni Basas added 21.
FEU have won four straight matches over UP dating back to UAAP Season 78, three of which have gone to five sets.
Nicole Tiamzon led the Lady Maroons with 19 points. Isa Molded managed 16, while Diana Carlos contributed 15.
Game Two will be on Wednesday, 4 pm at the PhilSports Arena.
FEU (3) – Guino-O 23, Basas 21, Palma 15, Domingo 10, Negrito 1, Cayuna 1, Hernandez 1, Malabanan 0, Villareal 0, Duremdes (L), Atienza (L)
UP (2) – Tiamzon 19, Molde 16, Carlos 15, Bersola 6, Buitre 4, Basarte 2, Dorog 2, Cailing 1, Estrañero (L), Gaiser (L)