The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigresses were able to transform a 2-1 set deficit into a five-set victory over the Adamson University (AdU) Lady Falcons, 25-21, 17-25, 20-25, 25-23, 15-12, Wednesday afternoon at the Filioil Flying V Centre.
UST got off to a good start in the opening set. Holding an 18-14 lead, UST’s Cherry Rondina scored three of the next four points to take a 21-15 lead. Jema Galanza and Erika Alkuino attempted to trim Adamson’s deficit by scoring on a 3-0 run, but a Fenela Emnas service error and back-to-back EJ Laure kills handed the set to the Tigresses.
The Lady Falcons blitzed UST in the second set. Consecutive May Roque kills doubled Adamson’s output over UST at 10-5. The Falcons had another run in them, going on a 5-0 run, for a 20-13 lead. From there, it was only a matter of time before the Lady Falcons tied the set score at 1 apiece.
The third set saw both teams trading runs with each other. Adamson started, as a 4-3 lead jumped to a 9-3 advantage, thanks to Roque’s various attacks keeping the Thomasian defenders on their toes. UST found a way out of their slump, however, and this time it was their turn to go on a scoring spree. The Tigresses bombarded Adamson with varying attacks for a 10-0 run that saw an 11-5 deficit turn into a 15-11 advantage.
The Lady Falcons, however, had one last run in them. An 8-0 run put Adamson back in the lead at 20-16. From there, Adamson were content to trade points with the Tigresses for a 2-1 sets advantage.
The fourth set had both teams trade points early. Adamson were the first team to blink, however, as NU turned a 3-2 advantage into an 8-3 lead. Adamson fought through diversity, and were even able to tie the set at 17 after consecutive Alkuino points. Tied at 21, Rondina scored off the block, and Laure connected on a cross court kill, taking advantage of Adamson’s defensive lapses. Roque keps Adamson’s hopes alive, but a Jessey De Leon and an Adamson net violation extended the match for the Tigresses.
Galanza opened the set with a kill, but Laure and Meneses countered quickly, shifting momentum to the UST side. Paat was able to score off the block, but Laure and Meneses once again came to UST’s rescue, with Rondina scoring on back-to-back kills for a 6-3 Thomasian lead. Both teams effectively traded points, until a Roque kill, followed by a Paat Ace brought Adamson within one, 11-10, forcing a UST timeout. De Leon eventually brought UST to match point, and a Mela Tunay block on Galanza, her only point of the game, ended the match for UST.
UST head coach Kung Fu Reyes is thankful for the win, as they are now tied at 5-5 with both FEU and NU in fourth place.
“Important yung panalo kasi dikit-dikit kami ng FEU at NU. Ito na yung magiging turning point namin para maabot yung gusto namin.”
Adamson, still winless in the second round, slide to a 3-7 record for seventh place.
The Growling Tigresses were led by the power spiking of Rondina and Laure, scoring 21 points each, while De Leon chipped in 11 points.
For the Lady Falcons, Roque led the way offensively with 21 points. Galanza and Paat were the other Adamsonians in double-digit scoring, with 17 and 11 respectively.
UST (3) – Rondina 21, Laure 21, De Leon 11, Cortez 6, Meneses 5, Francisco 4, Teope 1, Tunay 1, Sandoval 0, Cabanos 0, Bicar 0, Rivera L, Dizon L.
AdU (2) – Roque 21, Galanza 17, Paat 11, Alkuino 8, Dacoron 7, Emnas 7, Mohammad 0, Lebumfacil L.