In their first outing without high-scoring sophomore Milena Alessandrini, the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses still walloped defending champions De La Salle University Lady Spikers, 25-20, 25-22, 25-17, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Tigresses jumped on the Lady Spikers, taking an 11-3 after Sisi Rondina kills and La Salle errors piled up in the first set. The Lady Spikers got as close as one, 13-12, after Aduke Ogunsanta stuffed Eya Laure’s attack. UST then cut their comeback attempt short as Laure bounced back and gave them a 16-12 lead. The Tigresses steady 15-for-65 floor defense kept La Salle at bay, and opened the door for Rondina to put on the finishing touches.
The second frame was close, as both teams exchanged blows and were tied at 22. But La Salle’s offense collapsed again, giving up three straight errors and ending the set.
Lady Spikers coach Ramil de Jesus tweaked his lineup in the third set, slotting in rookie setter Marrione Alba, rookie libero Ferlyn Nomil and third-year winger Rovena Instrella. La Salle’s adjustment gave them an early boost, as Alba converted aces that propelled the Lady Spikers to a 4-1 edge. But the Tigresses opened the flood gates on La Salle one last time, going on a 9-3 run to earn an insurmountable 22-14 lead.
“Maganda ang gising ng mga player. Big win, big win para sa akin. Dedicated ang laban para kay Amiga (Alessandrini). This time, medyo may pagkakataon, physically and mentally, pinepe-prepare namin ang mga bata,” said UST head coach Kungfu Reyes as Alessandrini will likely be out for the rest of Season 81 due to a partially torn ACL.
“Medyo maganda ang kinalabasan ng laro. May distraction talaga. Pero again, nawala si Milena pero we have 13 strong women na haharap kung sino man ang magiging kalaban. Luckily nag-deliver naman halos lahat ng ginamit, nag-contribute,” he added.
This is UST’s first win over La Salle since the first round of Season 78. La Salle are on their first losing streak since getting swept by Ateneo in the Season 77 Finals.
Rondina finished with 19 points on 17-for-40 attacking, while Laure added 15.
No Lady Spiker finished in double-digits, with rookie Jolina Dela Cruz, Norielle Ipac, and Aduke Ogunsanya each managing eight points.
Both teams play their next matches on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. UST (3-2) take on the National University Lady Bulldogs (1-3), while DLSU (3-2) face the University of the East Red Warriors (1-4).
UST (3) – Rondina 19, Laure 15, Pacres 8, Galdones 7, Viray 2, Galanza 1, Bicar 0, Jimenez 0, Rivera 0, Delerio (L)
DLSU (0) – Dela Cruz 8, Ipac 8, Ogunsanya 8, Cheng 7, Cobb 3, Luna 3, Inistrella 2, Alba 1, Santos 1, Clemente 0, Tiamzon 0, Nomil (L)
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