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Golden Tigresses whip dazed Lady Maroons, get leg-up in Final Four race

Chasing an elusive Final Four spot, the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses dumped a drowsing University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, 25-20, 25-21, 25-16, Sunday afternoon at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Tigresses not only snapped a five-game losing streak to the Lady Maroons, they also earned their eighth win and at least a playoff for a Final Four spot.

After an anemic effort in their previous outing, the Tigresses pounced on their Katipunan foes on all fronts. No Lady Maroon scored in double-digits. Meanwhile, UST garnered 19 combined points off blocks and aces, while UP had just 11.

UP had the lead at different points in the match. The Lady Maroons led 19-18 in the first set before UST stormed back thanks to Chloe Cortez’s serving. UP scored just one point after UST took the lead, 21-19.

The second set was more puzzling, as a sudden collapse brought UP from a 14-12 advantage to a permanent 14-18 hole. The Lady Maroons never recovered, as UST led until the third frame.

UST head coach Kungfu Reyes lauded his team’s effort despite the incomplete attendance in practice.

“Sabi nga naman ko nga porque hindi sila makakapag-practice, makakalimutan na nila mag-volleyball,” said Reyes about his seniors, who hada been attending to their academic requirements.

“Marami kami sa team kaya ‘yung mga nasa practice talagang naghanda sila at nag-effort sila para sa mga wala. Good thing kasi sa buong team nakita mo ‘yung kahustuhan manalo.”

Ej Laure tallied a game-high 15 points, while. Cherry Rondina managed 14. Ria Menses, who had just one point against La Salle, pitched in 10 points which included eight blocks, doubling UP’s total.

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The Tigresses can clinch the third seed on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum when they face the do-or-die National University Lady Bulldogs (7-6).

Tots Carlos had just eight points, while Nicole Tiamzon and Isa Molde provided seven markers.

The Lady Maroons face their own must-win situation on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre where they take on the Far Eastern University Lady Tams (7-6).

The Scores

UST (3) – Laure 15, Rondina 14, Meneses 10, Cortez 5, Pacres 3, Bicar 1, Lastimosa 1, Cabanos 0, Viray 0, Rasmo (L), Rivera (L)

UP (0) – Carlos 8, Molde 7, Tiamzon 7, Bersola 4, Gannaban 4, Buitre 3, Estrañero 3, Layug 0, Dorog (L)

Written By

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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