FAR EASTERN University secured the last ticket to the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball Final Four after defeating Adamson University, 25-22, 25-14, 26-24, on Sunday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
The Tamaraws finished the eliminations with back-to-back wins and an 8-6 record. FEU will face De La Salle University, which also ended up at 8-6, in the first step-ladder match. The winner will take on the No. 2 University of Santo Tomas in another do-or-die match to determine the other finalist.
National University, seeking a three-peat, jumped straight to the best-of-three championship series after sweeping the eliminations with a 14-0 record.
The Tamaraws and the Green Spikers last faced each other in the Final Four in 2013, the year that the Taft-based squad last made it past the eliminations.
“Babaunin namin yung lessons na nakuha namin, ang dami namin from down tiniyaga namin pataas,” said FEU head coach Rei Diaz on the stepladder.
“Siguro yun ang una naming gagawin kung paano kami nakabalik, babaunin namin yung eagerness sa laban sa La Salle,” he continued.
With the Tamaraws at match point, 24-22, Jayjay Javelona committed an attack error before Francis Casas drilled a crosscourt shot to tie the score at 24-all. However, Casas’ next attack went wide, and Mark Calado nailed a hammer from the pipe to end the match in one hour and 39 minutes.
Calado showed his scoring prowess anew with 25 points on a very efficient 23-of-31 clip in spikes, to go with two blocks, as well as nine excellent receptions and eight digs.
Javelona added 11 points, while the trio of Jelord Talisayan, Dryx Saavedra, and Martin Bugaoan got seven points apiece.
Adamson ended up in seventh place, with a 2-12 record.
Marc Paulino top-scored for the Soaring Falcons with 11 points, while Casas and Jude Aguilar made nine points each.